Page 1

July 15–August 15, 2011 ®

David Spivey

The Energizer Farm Spivey Farms

Covering What’s Growing

July 2011


Instant Rebates up to $5000

The best reason to buy a Kubota M126X may not be the one you think. Yes, the M126X has an impressive list of deluxe features that come standard. And Kubota’s reliability and innovation are world-renown. But the best reason to buy an M126X is because you care about a job well-done. And you know this versatile mid-size tractor will deliver premium performance the first time, and every time. When there’s no substitute for a job well-done, there’s the Kubota M126X. • Powerful 4-cylinder, 108 PTO HP Kubota diesel engine • Fuel-efficient Common Rail System (CRS) • 16F x 16R IntelliShift transmission with 8-speed DualRange powershift

w w w. G u l f C o a s t Tr a c t o r. c o m



July 2011

July 2011


From the Editor

Sarah Holt


VOL. 7 • ISSUE 9

Hillsborough’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

Cover Story July 15–August 15, 2011

Mosquitos love me. In doing some research to try to figure out what I can do to keep mosquitos at bay, I found these tips on the Center for Disease Control web site. Mosquito Prevention Tips • Use Insect Repellent on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. • Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing. • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning -- or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times. • Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water. These are just a few things we can do to help reduce the incidence of mosquito bites. Of course no matter how hard we try, they will still manage to get to us, and then the itching will begin. The itch from mosquito bites comes from the saliva of the mosquito that it injects into you as it feasts on your blood. There are numerous things to you can do stop the itch. Just search the web and find the one that works for you. I hope you are having a great summer! As you travel to the beach or other vacation spots, take time to stop and shop with

our advertisers. They allow us to continue to cover what is growing. Until next month,


Al Berry

Senior Managing Editor/Associate Publisher


Covering What’s Growing

July 2011



The Energizer Farm: Spivey Farms 54 7 Did You Know? 8 Advertisers Index 12 Business UpFront Mark Smith Excavating 16 Farm Bureau Highlight Jake Raburn

Sarah Holt


Office Manager Bob Hughens

Sales Manager

Danny Crampton


24 Rocking Chair Chatter


76 Invasive Plants 84 Florida Barbados Cherries

No one has more cars 1 that get 40 mpg .

With Ford Fiesta, never has so much been offered for so little. Get amazing driving dynamics, along miles per gallon hwy,2 and stuff never available before on a car in this class - like available voice-ac your phone, music and more.3

Plug yourself into the all-new Ford Focus. With available SYNC, never have you been so connected. the Focus gets up to 40 miles per gallon hwy,4 because the Torque Vectoring Control and fully indep BladeTM rear suspension will make you never want to get out.

Amey Celoria

And you don’t have to sacrifice power just to achieve over 700 city miles on a single tank in the For

Ford offers three vehicles that get at least 40 miles per gallon. And they all come without sacrificing power, because the 2.5L Hybrid 1-4 engine and electric motor generate 191 net horsepower and 41 miles safety or smart technology.

Juan Carlos Alvarez Mona Jackson

So when it for comes to miles per gallon, all about Ford. With Ford Fiesta, never has so much been offered so little. Get amazing driving it’s dynamics, along with up to 40 miles per gallon hwy,2 and stuff never available before on a car in this class - like available voice-activated SYNC® for your phone, music and more.3

Staff Writers

Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Kayla Lewis Sean Green Mark Cook Ginny Mink

Contributing Writer Woody Gore

Cover Photo Karen Berry

In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Hillsborough County businesses, restaurants and other local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes members of Hillsborough County Farm Bureau and Strawberry Growers Association. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: or call 813-759-6909.

Ford offers three vehicles that get at least 40 miles per gallon. And they all come without sacrificing safety or smart technology.

Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Kay Mullis

Creative Director

28 Grub Station Westshore Pizza

No one has mor that get 40 mpg

Patsy Berry

18 Fishing Hot Spots

66 Collegiate FFA

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Numbers 6:25

Karen Berry

Editor-In-Chief David Spivey

58 Southwest Florida Water Management District



Plug yourself into the all-new Ford Focus. With available SYNC, never have you been so connected. Good thing the Focus gets up to 40 miles per gallon hwy,4 because the Torque Vectoring Control and fully independent Control BladeTM rear suspension will make you never want to get out. And you don’t have to sacrifice power just to achieve over 700 city miles on a single tank in the Ford Fusion Hybrid,5 because the 2.5L Hybrid 1-4 engine and electric motor generate 191 net horsepower and 41 miles per gallon city. So when it comes to miles per gallon, it’s all about Ford.

2011 FIESTA SE W/SFE Package

- 40 HWY MPG2 - 40 HWY MPG4 6 - UpF-150: to 409 miles on a tank of gashwy/19 combined mpg,- 3.7L Active Ranger: EPA-estimated 22 city/27 hwy/24 combined mpg, I-4 manual, 4x2. Class is Compact Pickups; EPA-estimated 17 city/23 V6Grille 4x2. Shutter Syste Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR, Non-Hybrid; Super Duty based on Ford drive-cycle tests of comparably equipped 2011 Ford and 2010/2011 competitive models. aerodynamic ef - Better hwy thanBased Yarison RDA Group’s GQRS cululativeimproved Class is Full-Size Pickups over 8,500 lbs. GVWr. When properly equipped. Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs.mpg GVWR. survey at three months of service in three surveys of 2010 Ford and competitive owners conducted 9/09 to 5/10. EPA-estimated 15 city/21 hwy/17 combined mpg, 5.0L V8 4x2. Based on Torque Vectoring Control f vehicle registration data and latest odometer readings available to R.L. Polk & Co. for 1992 and newer model-year full-size pickups still on the road in the U.S. as of 1/1/10. Other - Available SYNC, seven airbags dealer offers may apply. *Not all buyers will qualify for Ford Credit limited-term financing on select vehicles. APR may vary. Offer ends 8/1/11. See dealer for complete qualificabetter (standard), blind spot tions and program details. **Ford Motor Company Rebates and FMCC Rebates and Trade Assist Rebates cannot be integrated combined with other offers. Residency restrictions may handling apply 2011 FIESTA SE W/SFE 2011 FUSION HYB with FMCC and trade assist. ***Cash back varies by model, W.A.C., Ford Rebates assigned to Package customer offer ends 2012 8/1/11.FOCUS SE W/SFE Package - Available SYNC mirrors (standard) 1



July 2011





- 40 HWY MPG2 - 40 HWY MPG4 6 - Up to 409 miles on a tank of gas - Active Grille Shutter System for Shop 400 aerodynamic efficiency improved - Better hwy mpg than Yaris Online for Over New and Over 300 - Torque Vectoring Control for - Available SYNC, seven airbags 2000 East Baker St.integrated blind (standard), spot Pre-Owned Cars better at handling Plant City, FL 33563 mirrors (standard) - Available SYNC at

Photography Karen Berry Al Berry

Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field® Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by their advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In The Field® magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications, Inc. Published by Berry Publications, Inc.


Se Habla Español

- 41 CITY MPG5 - More than 700 miles fuel in the city5 - Most fuel-efficient m in America5 Fusion has better qua WWW.JARRETTSCOT

GET AN INDEPENDENT 3RD PARTY 2000 East Baker St., Plant City




EPA-estimated 40 hwy mpg, 2011 Fiesta SE with SFE; 40 hwy mpg. 2012 Focus SE with SFE; 41 city mpg. 2011 Fusion Hybrid. 2SE with SFE; EPA-estimated 29 city/40 hwy/33 commands, when uly it is safe to do so. 4EPA-estimated 28 city/40 hwy/33 combined mpg, SE with SFE. 5EPA-estimated 41 city/36 hwy/39 combined mpg; 17.5-gallon tank. Actual GQRS cumulative survey at three months of service in three surveys of 2010 Ford and competitive owners conducted 9/09-5/10. 1






100 South Mulrennan Road • Valrico, FL 33594 Phone (813) 685-9121

Dear Readers, Commissioner Adam Putnam has new legislation passed called Healthy Schools for Healthy Lives… so what’s in it for me? Purchasing locally grown food is good for students, local farmers, and communities. It is an exciting time to be a part of the farm-to-school movement. Through these programs children across the United States are reconnecting with their food, enjoying the taste and nutritional value of produce picked at peak ripeness, and learning about gardening, composting and agriculture. We are pleased to join the national farm-to-school movement so that Florida’s children will have access to additional healthful, tasty foods – grown right here in the great State of Florida! So as a farmer, what do I need to do? Tips for Farmers on Doing Business with Schools Most school districts buy their produce from wholesale distributors who make regular deliveries of a wide variety of seasonal and non-seasonal items. Food service directors place orders through these vendors by phone, fax or email on a regular basis. If the product received is not what was ordered, or is in an unsatisfactory condition, the distributor bears the burden of resolving discrepancies with the shipper or grower. In their efforts to serve the freshest products possible to the students, many schools are interested in acquiring locally grown and produced farm products. This presents an opportunity for local farmers to work with the schools to provide the fresh products they’re seeking. 1. Review the web site listed below to see which schools/ school districts wish to participate in the program. They are listed by county. 2. Determine if you have the products they need. Fresh fruits and vegetables requiring a minimal amount of kitchen processing are ideal for starters. 3. Contact the person listed for the school and discuss the products you have available that they might be

interested in. Determine if you may provide some or all of the products they are looking for. 4. When meeting with the school representative, be prepared to provide more information about your operation to them. They may need samples or want to see your facility. 5. Ask about the school’s volume of produce used on a weekly basis, for each item you can provide, and the condition they are delivered in. 6. Determine how your products will be delivered to the school. This may be indirectly via a local distributor, or directly with your trucks. 7. Keep in mind that most schools like “just in time” deliveries. Due to limited storage space, they want the product delivered as close to the serving date as possible. 8. Discuss the kind of condition the school expects your product to be delivered in, i.e., cleaned, washed, shucked, trimmed, etc. 9. Must have a written contract with the school; discuss with the school how the contract will be awarded, procedure, terms, etc. 10. Deliver the highest-quality product you can, in the quantities ordered, at the agreed-upon time and location(s). I hope this answers some questions about the new program. If you have further questions, please go on line to Have a great month!

100 S. Mulrennan Rd. Valrico, FL 33594

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles or snakes.

An eagle can kill a young deer and fly away with it.

In the Caribbean there are oysters that can climb trees.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

The youngest pope was 11 years old.

Mark Twain didn’t graduate from elementary school.

Proportional to their weight, men are stronger than horses.

Pilgrims ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving dinner.

They have square watermelons in Japan - they stack better.

Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.

Heinz Catsup leaving the bottle travels at 25 miles per year.

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.

Armadillos can be housebroken.

The first Fords had engines made by Dodge.

A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in just one night.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite.

Ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone.

A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4-foot tall child inside.

A quarter has 119 grooves on its edge, a dime has one less groove.

A hummingbird weighs less than a penny.

Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it is known as Tennessee.

The flashing warning light on the cylindrical Capitol Records tower spells out HOLLYWOOD in Morse code.


Danny Aprile

Insurance Services 813.685.5673 Member Services 813.685.9121

July 2011



100 S. Mulrennan Rd. Valrico, FL 33594 Tommy Hale, CLU, ChFC, CASL, CPCU Agency Mgr. Julie Carlson, John McGuire

Plant City Office 813.752.5577

1302 S. Collins St., Plant City, FL 33563 Jeff Sumner, Bill Williams

Danny Aprile President, Hillsborough County Farm Bureau

Hank Williams


Judi Whitson, Executive Director 813.685.9121

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Danny Aprile, Vice-President; Jemy Hinton, Treasurer; George Coleman, Secretary; Glenn Harrell, Member-at-large; Bill Burnette, Jake Raburn, Patrick Thomas, Amanda Collins, Roy Davis, David Drawdy, Jim Dyer, Alvin Futch, Stefan Katzaras, Greg Lehman, Carl Little, Lance Ham, Michelle Williamson and John Stickles. Judi Whitson, Executive Director


Danny Aprile .............................. President Bill Burnette ....................... Vice President Jemy Hinton ................................Treasurer George Coleman....................... Secretary Glenn Harrell ...............Member at Large Amanda Collins, Roy Davis, David Drawdy, Jim Dyer, Alvin Futch, Stefan Katzaras, Joe Keel, Greg Lehman, Kenneth Parker, Jake Raburn, Marty Tanner, James Tew, Patrick Thomas, Michelle Williamson, Ray Wood

Hank Williams Concrete Recycling



Tampa Office 813.933.5440

1046 W. Busch Blvd., Ste. 100, Tampa, FL 33612 Greg Harrell, Jeff Harper


July 2011


Florida State Fairgrounds Will Host September 21 Republican Presidential Debate The Florida State Fair Authority announced the Florida State Fairgrounds has been selected as the host site for the Republican Presidential Debate on September 21, 2011 in Tampa. Following this announcement, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued the following statement by Commissioner Adam Putnam, leader of the Florida State Fair Authority Board.

Index of

“Hosting the upcoming Republican Presidential Debate will bring new audiences to the Florida State Fairgrounds. This is a win-win for Florida. Not only will it be a valuable opportunity for the people and businesses of the Tampa Bay area, but it will also enable us to gain national attention for the venue where we celebrate Florida’s rich agricultural heritage each year.”


Antioch Feed............................................ 17 Aquarius Water Refining.......................... 65 Astin Strawberry Exchange....................... 80 Bartow Chevrolet.......................................3 Bill’s Transmissions.................................. 77 Bingham Portables.................................... 87 Brandon Auto Services, Inc....................... 87 Broke & Poor Surplus Building Materials.71 Byrd & Barnhill, P.L................................. 87 CF Industries, Inc..................................... 51 Choo Choo’s Lawn Equipment............ 14-15 Chuck’s Tire & Automotive...................... 83 Classifieds................................................ 93 Cowboys Steakhouse & Saloon................ 85 Cowboys Western World.......................... 67 Crescent Jewelers...................................... 69 Dad’s Towing........................................... 56 Dairy Queen............................................ 65 Diamond R Fertilizer................................ 82 Discount Metal Mart............................... 75 Driscoll’s.................................................. 67 Eco Water Systems................................... 91 Elite Home Fitness................................... 77 Elite Tunnels, LTD................................... 32 F.C. Mullis Plumbing, Inc......................... 95 Farm Bureau Insurance-Valrico................. 23 Farm Bureau Insurance/Jeff Sumner......... 83 Farm Credit.............................................. 60 Felton’s Market......................................... 73 Florida Strawberry Growers Assoc............ 47 Forbes Road Produce................................ 11 Fred’s Market........................................... 37

Gator Ford............................................... 61 Gerald Keene Plumbing............................ 31 Ginny Mink............................................. 92 Grove Equipment Service Hustler............. 56 Grove Equipment Service Mahindra......... 69 Gulf Coast Tractor & Equipment...............2 Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply...................... 19 Harrell’s Nursery, Inc................................ 91 Haught Funeral Home.............................. 74 Helena Chemical-Tampa.......................... 64 Hillsboro State Bank................................ 89 Hillsborough County Farm Bureau.............7 Hopewell Funeral Home........................... 39 I-4 Power Equipment..................................9 Jarrett-Scott Ford........................................5 Johnson’s Barbeque.................................. 41 Jon & Rosie’s Tree Farm........................... 92 Keel & Curley Winery.............................. 43 Kennco Manufacturing............................. 89 KeyPlex Nutritional.................................. 13 L.I.T. Security Cages & Lewis Insulation Technology............................................... 29 Lancaster Farms....................................... 70 Lands Feed & Farm Supply....................... 71 Loetscher Auto Parts................................ 91 Malissa Crawford..................................... 63 Mark Smith Excavating............................ 30 Meryman Environmental......................... 64 Mini-Storage of Plant City....................... 92 Mosaic..................................................... 79 Mya Matlie Hair Studio........................... 55 Organo Gold Coffee................................. 59

For more information on the announcement, visit: http://floridastatefair. com/pdffiles/2011presdebate.pdf.

Plant City Tire & Auto............................. 80 Platinum Bank.......................................... 81 Red Rose Inn & Suites Weding Planner..... 57 Red Rose Inn & Suites......................... 48-49 Roadrunner Veterinary Clinic................... 96 Sanchez Dermatology............................... 92 Savich & Lee Wholesale........................... 79 Seedway.................................................... 91 Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply................... 33 Southside Farm & Pet Supply.............. 26-27 Southwestern Produce.............................. 35 Stephanie Humphrey................................ 88 Stingray Chevrolet.................................... 94 Susan Mitchell.......................................... 53 The Hay Depot......................................... 92 The Hay Exchange - Feed Store................. 45 The Hay Exchange - Yeti Coolers.............. 90 The Trailer Exchange............................... 45 Timberlane Pet Hospital & Resort........... 87 Trinkle, Redman, Swanson, Cotón, Davis & Smith....................................................... 85 Uncommon USA...................................... 89 Walden Lake Car Wash............................ 59 Wells Memorial........................................ 73 Werts Welding & Tank Service, Inc.......... 81 Westcoast Enterprises............................... 88 Willie’s Seafood........................................ 91 Winfield Solutions, LLC......................63, 75 Wishnatzki Farms..................................... 25 Zaxby’s (St. John & Partners)................... 21

YOU TOO CAN BE A WINNER No Food HEY READERS, hidden somewhere in the magazine is a No Farmers, No Food logo. Hunt for the logo and once you find the hidden logo you will be eligible for a drawing to win a FREE InTheField® T-Shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the page on which you found the logo and where on that page you located the logo to: No Farmers

InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, FL 33563-0042 All Entries must be received by August 3, 2011. Winner will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner - Enter Now! 8


July 2011

July 2011


Summer Vacation

by Mark Cook

As I sit to write this, the sun is just coming up and outside my window two small squirrels are digging in the grass. The haze and the leftover thunderstorm from the night before are making way for the 95 degree summer day, which will, by 10 a.m., suck the life out of anyone who dares to venture outside away from the air-conditioning. The squirrels are smart as they get the day started while the temperature is somewhat bearable. Next week our family will head to the beach and relax from the heat, lounge by the pool, swim the gulf waters, and try to catch a few fish. Since adopting our son in 2004, vacations have been few and far between. It’s time to give him some of the memories I had growing up. As a kid summertime meant adventure but, most importantly, vacation. If you have followed my column over the last 17 months you will know I have frequently written about going to the beach and Anna Maria Island in particular. From my earliest memories it has been part of our family’s routine. From day trips to Coquina to grill burgers, to two week long excursions renting the Grimes home off 30th Street in Holmes Beach, the island has been a retreat that continues to this day. We have tried St. Pete, the east coast, and I’ve even been to California but we always go back to the place they are most familiar. Driving to the Manatee County beaches seemed like it took two days back then. It was the 1970s and seat belts were more of a nuisance then a routine, so as kids we were all over the vehicle we rode in. Sometimes we would


July 2011

lay in the back window dash, sometimes in the floorboard and occasionally even drive down in the back of a pickup truck. Child abuse these days most folks would say, a memorable adventure is what I call them. One summer my sister and I rode all the way in the back of my Dad’s Mazda pickup. While not unusual by itself, add in the fact we were sitting in lawn chairs and the bed had a topper over it and small rust holes in the floor. Trying to balance in a lawn chair as my Dad made turns, high on gas and exhaust fumes, it is a wonder we made it there alive. People have questioned my sanity at times and asked if I ate paint chips as a child. I tell them no, but I have a feeling a bit of my strangeness can be attributed to trips in the back of my Dad’s truck. The summers we stayed for a week or two were always memorable. It was the one time of year we could sleep as late as we wanted. For some reason, however, when at the beach I never wanted to sleep in. Maybe I felt like I would sleep all week and wake up on the day we were going home. There is not a whole lot better feeling in life than waking up without one responsibility. The day was open to whatever we wanted to do. First thing in the morning usually meant a swim in the turquoise waters of the Gulf. My sister, brother and I would paddle out on blow up rafts and snorkel through the rock jetties and seawalls that used to dot the shorelines in those years. Sun block wasn’t a big deal as by the time we went on vacation we had usually had a couple sunburns and peels. My dermatologist today shakes his

head every time I go to his office counting the new moles that crop up between yearly visits. Afternoons meant a sandwich for lunch and waiting 30 minutes to get back in the water. I’m not sure who started that but the countdown from eating to swimming was cruel. Evenings were spent swimming and watching the sun dip below the horizon. Gulf coast sunsets rival those of anywhere in the world and I find it hard for anyone who has seen one after an afternoon thunderstorm to not believe in a higher power. Colors that are so rare they may not even have names would fill the sky and the bright orange ball seemed to struggle to hang on before relenting and finally disappearing. After dinner brought one of my favorite beach memories and that was fishing the piers on the island with my Dad. As everyone started settling down for sleep he and I would load the truck with poles and tackle and head out in search of a giant catch. While we never managed too many memorable catches, we always had fun. If you ever want to feel totally normal and sane go hang out on a fishing pier as the clock approaches midnight. Characters you see only in movies appear as the night progresses. We would usually end up at the Bridge Street Pier and off in the distance the rumble of traffic crossing the Cortez Road Bridge could be heard. To the south of the pier the many sailboats that stay anchored for weeks at a time glistened as the moon reflected off the still bay waters. My Dad and I spent countless hours drowning a wad of squid or dead shrimp, pulling up the

occasional fish or crab. Lots of catfish are caught at night and I did my fair share of catching the grunting whiskered little devils. One particular night, having only fished a few minutes I fought one to the pier. As it flopped on the boardwalk of the pier it flipped and the hook released by itself. Before my Dad could say anything I attempted to kick it off back into the water. As my foot made contact a pain unlike anything I had ever experienced shot into my foot as the poisonous barb from the fish penetrated my shoe and deep in my skin. I swear I would have cried like a baby but a cute blond teenage tourist from Ohio was watching our Three Stooges routine. I bit my lip and my Dad yanked it from my foot. My foot immediately began to swell and my shoe was difficult to take off. We loaded up and headed home and I soaked my foot for two days in hot water before feeling normal again. Just another summer adventure. The last few days were always tough as you tried to cram as much into them as possible knowing the days were slipping by. And that Saturday morning when it came time to check out, major depression would set in. Knowing it would be another year before getting back was hard to take. I don’t know exactly how many years we spent at the beach. A few were filled in with trips to the mountains, or Alabama to visit family. But without a doubt the best times came when we all, as a family, would smell the salt air, cool in the waters, eat fried mullet and grits and yeah, even kick a catfish off a pier.

July 2011


Business UpFront Mark Smith Excavating by Mark Cook Keeping a business successful for 30 years means working hard, being honest, and delivering what you promise. It also requires adapting to changes in the market and even more so adapting to the economic changes that businesses face from time to time. Mark Smith Excavating of Plant City has been able to handle all the challenges thrown their way and have continued to keep their customers satisfied. “We get a majority of our business from repeat customers and from word of mouth referrals,” Mark said. “I think it is because we can handle the customers request, and obviously if they are calling us back then they were satisfied with our previous work.” “The business has changed and we have evolved a lot over the years.” Smith began tractor mowing in 1981 and the business slowly began to take shape. “The mowing business was good for years and we started slowly branching out into different areas,” Mark said. “Over the years I did project site preparation, storm drainage, even dug pools. Pretty much anything that customers asked, we tried to be receptive. I have a utilities license and a contractors license and that was a good business for a while.” Like any business, competition became tougher and tougher and combined with the downfall of the new construction industry, Mark was looking for the niche that would make his business stand out. His current specialization, pond building, maintinence, and vegetation clean out, has been growing steadily. “The thing about what we do mainly now is not many people have the equipment to handle the projects we can,” Mark said. “Some of the equipment we use can cost up to $300,000 dollars new so its not like someone can just go rent it for a few days. And even if they could most folks want someone who has the experience and know how to get the job done right.” Mark Smith Excavating can handle numerous aspects of retention pond building or maintenance. From working with water agencies like SWFWMD, to builders and even private homeowners, Smith says his company has the right knowledge and equipment to meet the customer’s needs. “There are so many different things that fall under what we do,” Mark said. “Sometimes it’s just cleaning the vegetation from a


July 2011

pond or an area. Other aspects include land clearing, site preparation and cleanup, right of way clearing and slope mowing.” As government restrictions tighten, especially when dealing with water, Mark Smith Excavating has built relationships with the agencies and local engineers and knows exactly what is required to make the site compliant. “What these agencies want has changed a lot over the years and we have been right there following the direction,” Mark said. “Simple drainage or retention ponds can be legal nightmares for homeowners or businesses and must be done correctly. We work with the customer and the engineers to get the project right.” Over the years Smith’s company has done work for T.E.C.O., Progress Energy, Hillsborough and other surrounding counties. “Again, because we have such a wide variety of equipment we are able to handle the large jobs for the bigger companies and government agencies,” Mark said. “That has been one of the things that has kept us growing is being able to handle many aspects of a project. Companies would rather deal with one or two subcontractors than several. It makes life easier for them and keeps us busy when we can show them how much we can handle.” While Mark’s company has a great reputation with large outfits, Mark Smith Excavating can handle even the smallest job at competitive prices. “We can do large jobs or a standard subdivision lot,” Mark said. “We started out serving the individual homeowner for the most part and we want people to know we still do.” “A big difference between us and others handling smaller jobs is the liability insurance we carry. If someone knocks on your door asking to do some contracting work make sure they are licensed and insured. If they can’t produce proof ask them to leave. Too many people have went out and bought equipment or a chainsaw and are going door-to-door looking for work. Their prices might be great but if their worker falls off your roof and they aren’t insured it comes back to the homeowner and their insurance. So we recommend doing your homework when hiring anyone around the house.” For more information contact Mark Smith Excavating at 813293-4242.

July 2011



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him on trips to meet with legislators and other groups from Tampa to Washington D. C. “Being part of these organizations has allowed me to do some really cool things over the last couple of years,” Raburn said. “One of the highlights was meeting with Gus Bilirakis and Adam Putnam in Washington D. C. Adam (Putnam) took us on a tour of the U. S. Capitol Building, something that was amazing to see, along with all the other history of that city.” Raburn’s current job keeps him up to date and in the agricultural circle of news. As the food safety and marketing director for Hinton Farms, Raburn is smack dab in the middle of relevant issues that apply to his position with Farm Bureau. “Being able to be part of a first rate organization like Hinton Farms really makes me aware of the issues that today’s farmers face on a daily basis,” Raburn said. “This really helps me as a Farm Bureau board member as I have first hand knowledge of the problems farmers encounter from growth management to rules and new regulations. When meeting with elected officials I can use personal stories to help be a better advocate for the farmers and ranchers of our area.” Cammie Hinton of Hinton farms has nothing but great things to say about Raburn. “All the words to describe him are positive,” Hinton said. “Jake is reliable energetic and very focused on his job. He takes a lot of self-initiative and is willing to learn new things about the business. We love having him around.” The 26 year old and his wife Melissa recently added a new member to the Raburn family when son Jackson was born in June of this year. “Having a family has always been something I have looked forward to,” Raburn said. “I was raised in a great family and I hope to make sure my family grows up the way I did with an appreciation and respect for our area and it’s agricultural roots. I feel very blessed at this point in my life.”

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Focus and determined are two words that describe Jake Raburn. Whether it be showing pigs in the Strawberry Festival as a young teen while at Turkey Creek Junior High or getting his degree in four years at the University of Florida, Jake Raburn knows what he wants in life and sets goals that he strives to attain. That dedication and drive to succeed is what the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau also saw when selecting Raburn to their board of directors. Executive director Judi Whitson is impressed with Raburn’s passion. “We really feel like Jake is an up and coming star,” Whitson said. “Whether it be in the agricultural field or even just in the community, his potential is endless and we are proud to have him on our team.” “One great thing about Jake is his youth. Jake brings that to the table and it is a breath of fresh air. He certainly isn’t stuck in his ways and he can relate to the younger group. As an organization we need to reach out to the younger generation and Jake really helps us in that aspect.” Raburn appreciates the praise but feels fortunate to be where he is. “I really love being a part of the (Farm Bureau) organization,” Raburn said. “I love being involved in the community and being that advocate for the farmer or rancher who really is a huge part of our county and also a big part of what our state does.” Raburn’s love for agriculture began at an early age. A member of FFA throughout his school career, Raburn raised and showed pigs until he graduated high school. While in FFA Raburn also participated in parliamentary procedure and public speaking. Little did he know those skills he learned would benefit him later in life. “Those have helped me greatly today in my current job and also with the Farm Bureau,” Raburn said. “The confidence to speak before a group started during my days with FFA.” Raburn’s association with the Farm Bureau and also as a member of the Young Farmers and ranchers programs have sent




by Mark Cook

July 2011 NTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 17 N. McIntosh Rd., Thonotosassa, FL I33592

TAMPA BAY’S FISHING REPORT • Food Plot Mix • Attractants • Feeders • and much more!

Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply

Open: M-F: 8 to 6 pm Sat: 8-5 pm Closed Sunday

It’s ONLY FISHING – JUST RELAX Enjoy the Leisure Time and Recreation… by Captain Woody Gore than any day at work. Do not relate this as meaning that being successful at fishing Another on the water fishing pressure is taking your best does not require learning, preparation and commitment. In fact, becoming a successful angler often requires as much, if not more, fishing partner back to the spot you fished a few days ago. Yep, the same one where the fish almost ate the bottom off the boat. dedication to purpose as becoming successful in any other sport. This is similar to promising friends a good fresh fish dinner. But it’s always been my contention that fishing should also Only now the area might as well be a desert, there doesn’t seem provide the means to relieve the stress of our busy modern day to be a fish within a mile. lives. However, too often Suddenly your we tend to put ourselves credibility sinks lower under too much pressure than the average politician. while doing something You start back-pedaling that should bring us joy saying, I don’t understand, and relaxation. Often folks a couple of days ago we take fishing to the point caught one on every cast. where the relaxation value You should have been here is zilch and they go home then. This is without a in worse shape than they doubt the most doleful arrived. statement ever made by I guess the most an angler and, quite often, obvious example of selffishing guides. The people exerted pressure would be who hear it are simply not promising someone a fresh going to buy it. fish dinner. The canniest charter We all know the boat skippers and fishing story, a group of friends guides have selling the is coming over for dinner hope of fish catching and we tell them that fresh Rick and his redfish down to a tee. If there’s fish is on the menu. In one thing I’ve learned over fact it will be really fresh the years, many times the hard way, is that you promise nothing, because we are going to catch it that very day. Take it from me but always instill the hope of something. folks, making a statement like this is the fishing kiss of death… Remember as fishing minutes turn into hours your objective and you better take some along some extra cash so you can stop should always remain the same. You’re just one step and one fish by the fish market on the way home. away from your fishing objective and that is relieving the everyday If you’ve spent any time fishing you realize that when you stress and pressures of life’s perpetual challenges. If you catch make that kind of statement you will not be able to buy a fresh fish great, if you didn’t… that’s fishing and the fish wins today, fish, let alone catch one. What was supposed to be a quiet fun next time you’ll win. day out catching a mess of fish for dinner turns out to be worse


July 2011

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July 2011


Tampa Bay Fishing Report

and shiny longshank Daiichi hooks and it’s off to the races. Redfish: We’re beginning to see some decent action using Let’s Start Off with the Bait Situation: Especially greenbacks, shrimp, and artificial lures and cut bait. As I said Greenbacks - For some reason we’ve not figured out yet, last month, using cut bait, or the dead sticking method is not my greenbacks are eluding us around the bay. One day they’re on the favorite way to fish, there’s not enough action for me. I tend to flats the next day they are gone. Also this year we’ve not seen the equate it to watching paint dry. It’s a matter of fishing quietly, small fry yet, unless it’s going to be a late spawn. slowly and of course being in the right spot. It often takes an The only consistent location seems to be the Skyway Bridge intensive game plan that involves several moves before you find a and particularly the south fishing pier. However, the water is productive area and then it might be they’re just not eating when exceptionally clear and unless you’re throwing a larger heavy net you’re out there. Don’t forget the docks and mangrove overhangs the bait tends to run out from under the others. You also have on high water and be quiet and be sure to get your bait back to contend with those strong tide days where it takes at least a under the mangroves, because they’re in the shade on the hot 20 pound net to get down to the bait before it collapses with the summer days. current. Then there are the dolphins that are now grabbing your Snook: (Season Closed Catch & Release Only) According to nets when they are full of bait. Not only does it destroy the net, but it can pull you overboard if you’re not careful. It really makes reports and my own experience the snook are definitely making a showing around the bay area. I’m actually not targeting them using shrimp much more appealing. as I’ve decided to give Spotted Sea them a break during Trout: We are the hot summer catching some really weather. We really beautiful trout need to get our throughout the Bay. population built back Many are in the upper up. If you still chasing teens and some low them the same thing twenties. Apparently applies to snook as they are eating well reds, it’s hot and because they are fat they’re looking for and healthy with shade especially in the some weighing three afternoon. to four pounds. Key Cobia, Mangrove points to remember Snapper, Flounder, are circle hooks, light and Sharks: The leader, moving water cobias are showing and popping corks. on markers, flats and Greenbacks, buoy cans, especially shrimp and artificial those holding bait. lures are doing the Mangrove snapper trick for me on broken is picking up on the bottom grass flats. artificial reefs and I’m either free lining Shawn and his spotted sea trout should continue as the them or fishing them water stays warm. I’m under a popping cork. anticipating a good snapper bite all summer. We’re also catching The artificial’s seemed to work best with a twitch and retrieve some nice southern flounder on the same rocky bottoms artificial method, especially through and around pot holes on grass flats. reefs. Spanish Mackerel & King Mackerel: Spanish mackerel are The shark bite has been exceptional, especially when still plentiful around the bay and near shore in the Gulf. With mackerel fishing. We’ve had several large black tips and two huge plenty of threadfins schooling throughout the bay there is plenty bulls so far this summer. of food and the mackerel seem to be on an endless feeding Tarpon fishing has been thriving at the Skyway Bridge, frenzy. Sky rocketing fish and diving birds are a sure indicator of Egmont, and Bean Point and along the beach and passes. They feeding fish. Threadfins, greenback, shrimp or any shiny artificial are also starting to migrate up the bay. I have already seen some lure will catch plenty. Don’t forget the sharp teeth on these big showing up around the Gandy Bridge. bruisers, so tackle up with at least 60 lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon

“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done. Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM, send an email to or give him a call at 813-477-3814.

Zaxby’s DayZ ®

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Tuesday is Zax Kidz Night ®

99¢ Zax Kidz Meals with the purchase of an adult meal from 4 p.m. to close. Limit two Zax Kidz Meals per adult entree.

Wednesday is student Day Students get 10% off with student ID card all day.

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2901 1/2 James Redman Pkwy. • Plant City 813.752.1971 Limited time only. Offers valid at this location only. Each restaurant independently owned and operated. Adult Meals include any Zalad, Sandwich Basket, Meal Deal or Most Popular Menu Item. © 2011 Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. “Zaxby’s,” “Party Platterz,” “Meal Dealz” and “Zax Kidz” are trademarks of Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc.


July 2011

July 2011


Recipes Courtesy of The Florida Department of Agriculture

Cucumber Melon Sorbet Ingredients 1/2 cup water 3/4 cup sugar 3-1/2 cups cantaloupe, seeded 1-1/2 cups cucumber, seeded 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice Preparation Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove and pour into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, creating syrup. In a blender, puree remaining ingredients and chill until ready to use. Combine puree and syrup in a metal bowl or baking pan and place in the freezer for 45 minutes or until frozen. Yield 6 servings

Firecracker Salad Ingredients 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 small jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/4 cup vegetable oil kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears) 6 medium radishes, halved and thinly sliced crosswise 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced Preparation To make the dressing, purée the lime juice, jalapeño, honey and cumin in a blender. With the machine on, add the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside. In a large bowl, toss the corn with the radishes, parsley, red onion and dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper, transfer to plates and serve. Tip: For a roasted taste, lightly season and oil the whole corn cobs and then roast in a 375-degree F oven until lightly browned. When cool, slice the corn off the cob and add to the salad. Yield 4 servings


July 2011

July 2011


s errie. b f o a etern Florid k r a i r m es emieegetabl r p A v


Come Grow With Us 100 Stearn Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 Tel: 813.752.5111 The other day I ran into a high school class mate of mine, Dick Saliba. While enjoying a cup of soup at Panera Bread we started reminiscing about the “good old days” right after high school. He started comparing those days with today in the job market. Like most of my classmates I got a job and made a few dollars. He went on to say, “thank goodness I still have a job. I work and they pay me each week. I have always paid my taxes and the government distributes what I pay as they see fit,” Dick said. He continued, “The last time I applied for a job I had to pass a urine test. Now in my 70s I have come realize that I have a problem with the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test. I think a person qualifying for a welfare check should have to pass a urine test before they get the first dollar. I have a real problem helping someone sitting on their rear end doing drugs while I work.” I have to agree with Dick. Can you imagine how much money we could save if people had to pass a urine test to get a welfare check? Maybe the President will have a program called “Urine or You’re Out”! (Since the writing of this story the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring anyone applying for welfare to pass a urine test. I guess they had heard about Dick Saliba’s feelings on the matter.) Come to think of it, maybe our politicians should have to pass the test, too. It’s for sure most of them couldn’t pass an IQ test. One last thing, if


July 2011

you’re on welfare you cannot vote! I have always heard that women are more sensitive than men. Most likely that’s true, but men are sensitive, too. Let me give you an example. This lady wakes up during the night and notices her husband is not in bed. She slips into her bathrobe and walks into their kitchen where she finds him at the kitchen table sipping on a cup of coffee. She stands there unnoticed and watches as he wipes tears from his eyes. She eases up to him and said, “What is the matter, dear?” What are you doing down here at 3am? He looks up and says, “it the 20th anniversary of the day we met.” She was astounded he remembered and she started to cry. He looked up at her lovingly and continued, “Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 19 and you were 17.” “Yes I do,” she replied. Her husband’s bottom lip began to quiver as he continued, “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?” “Yes, I remember,” she said as she sat down in the chair next to him. The husband continued. “Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?” “I remember that, too,” she said softly.

He wiped another tear from his eye and said, “I would have gotten out today.” Thinking about 20 years ago reminded me of an e-mail I got from my cousin Dale Woodruff in Jacksonville. Grandma’s 9-year old grandson was talking to her about some of the more current news event on TV. He asked her what she thought about the shootings at schools, computer hacking, and other news relative to the day. Grandma thought a minute and said, “Now let me think for a minute. You know son I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, Frisbees, contact lenses and the pill. There were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. No one had invented the pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and our clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air. Man had not walked on the moon. Your grandpa and I got married first, and then we lived together. When I was your age, and up to at least 25, I called policemen and every man with a title of, “Sir.” I was born before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, group therapy and daycare centers. We lived by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. I was taught to know the difference between right and wrong, and to stand up and take responsibility for my actions. Serving in the military was a privilege, living in the U. S. was a bigger privilege. I thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a good and meaningful relation meant getting along with your relatives. Draft dodgers were those who closed the front door as the evening breeze started up. We knew time-sharing as when the family spent time together in the evenings and weekends,

not buying a condominium. I never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD players, electric typewriters, yogurt, or men wearing earrings. We used to listen to, Jack Benny, The Lone Ranger and the news on the radio. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Hardees and instant coffee were unheard of. If you had a nickel or a dime you could actually buy something with them at the 5 & 10cent store. Coke was a cold drink, grass was mowed, pot was something your mother cooked in and rock music was your grandmother’s lullaby! “Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office. Software wasn’t even a word, and it appears I lived in the last generation that actually believed that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. I remember when we would roll up the old newspaper as tight as can be and used it as “logs” in our fireplace. When we butchered a pig, we saved all the fat and made homemade lye soap that we used to bathe with, or wash clothes and do the dishes. We would save Gold Bond and S&H Green Stamps to purchase Christmas gifts for the family. Grandma closed by saying, “You see Grandson, some people think I am old fashion, but I am only 59 years old. Boy, how far we have come along in such a short time. As we age we notice everybody whispers, and we have three sizes of clothes in our closet. Two which we will never wear. The five pounds we wanted to lose is now 20, and we have a better chance of losing our keys than the 20 pounds. And lastly, your joints are more accurate than Channel 8’s weather service.

July 2011


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“Come and Get It” Western Fashion

SOUTHSIDE Farm & Pet Supply

(813) 752-2379 26 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

3014 S. Jim Redman Parkway (Hwy. 39 South) Hours: Monday - Saturday 8am - 6pm

July 2011

See store for details.

Western Fashion

SOUTHSIDE Farm & Pet Supply

(813) 752-2379

3014 S. Jim Redman Parkway (Hwy. 39 South) July 2011 INTHEFIELD8am MAGAZINE 27 Hours: Monday - Saturday - 6pm See store for details.

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Clockwise from upper left: 1) Ribbon Cutting on June 15 with plant City Chamber of Commerce with President Marion M. Smith (third from the left, Westshore Pizza owners Hany and Cheryl Hosny with Marion Smith shown as seventh person ). 2) Owner Hany Hosny flips pizza to the delight of customers. 3) Co-Owner Cheryl Hosny with one of their 18 inch, “The Works” pizzas. 4) View inside newly refurbished restaurant. 5) Cake prepared for Chamber and opening day customers.

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July 2011

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by Cheryl Kuck Just when I ask myself if Plant City can possibly handle another pizza place or fast food restaurant, another one opens. Giving this phenomenon some thought, it occurred to me to compare it to the plethora of vacuum cleaners, television sets, cars, detergents, telephones, and so forth. Each one of them (although performing the same service) bring something different and unique that sets each vacuum, TV, etc. and restaurant apart from the others. Most folks expect a Hoover brand vacuum that is backed by a solid company will be a good and lasting machine. Brand-names in the restaurant genre, like Westshore Pizza, have an advantage because folks know that even though one owner-manager may not succeed, the name is backed by a historically successful and consistent organization that will lend its expertise in assisting new franchise owners. Westshore Pizza at 1701 South Alexander St. has undergone some big changes during the last eight months. The restaurant was “almost gutted’ in a complete renovation by the new owners Cheryl and Hany Hosny. “We’ve been waiting until everything was just right before we actually had our grand-opening and Plant City Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on June 15,” said Hosny. With years in the restaurant business and a degree in hotel management, Hosney brings a valuable background to starting his own restaurant. That knowledge is coupled with his wife’s experience growing up in the Hernando County Czechoslovakian community known as Masaryktown where her family owned the well-known Masaryk Hotel (a landmark building originally built in 1926) and restaurant. Between the Hosny husband and wife team there is more than 20 years of combined restaurant savvy. While they are confident in placing their trust in the Westshore name, policies and the company’s plans for expansion, the Hosny’s are also pleased with a franchise decentralization that allows freedom to add their personal expertise and menu variations. Born in Egypt, Hany is adding some Middle-Eastern spices and flavors to the traditional Westshore menu that are a delightful change. The extensive salad bar serves some homage to those Middle-Eastern favorites like healthy homemade hummus (made with fresh garlic cloves, sesame paste, special spices and chickpeas) and pickled vegetables in addition to boneless chicken bites and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased at the market on Highway 39. “I go personally at least twice-a-week and carefully pick through everything. The vendors know I want only the freshest produce,” he says. The salad bar is an all-you-can-eat bargain at $4.99 or $6.99 with a pizza slice. The New York style pizza slices are huge, made with fresh dough daily, using only whole milk cheese and comes in 17 varieties…if you’re lucky Hany will show-off his pizza tossing skills.


Westshore Pizza


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July 2011


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Bus: 813-986-4242 Cell: 813-293-4242

They have 12 baked pasta dinners ranging in price from $5.49 to $9.49 for the Veal Parma with spaghetti and they are a heaping, large plateful that is enough to satisfy even the heartiest appetite. One thing I have never eaten or wanted to is a Philly cheese steak. It always seems like a waste of good meat to slather it with gobs of onions and cheese. Since I taste what I’m served and Cheryl brought one out to me, I warily stuck in a fork to taste it. Now, I have to say it did look good. You could see all the meat with not too many onions or cheese but with the added benefit of fresh green pepper. The additives were an accompaniment to the steak itself not a cover-up. It was so good, I know I’ll try it again…but only at the Hosny’s restaurant. They do serve some desserts; cheesecake, cannoli (a deepfried sweet Italian pastry with a creamy Ricotta or Mascarpone Cheese and fruit filling) and Italian ices. “We wanted to have something for everybody and to create a family atmosphere. We have games like dominoes and checkers for the kids and flat screen TV’s. They can have a bunch of grapes from the salad bar and a milkshake while their parents are talking over dinner. We’re always looking at what we can do to better serve our customers,” says Cheryl.


July 2011

Westshore Pizza

“More than just pizza” Under new family ownership Serving lunch and dinners for dine-in or take-out Seating for 35 Private Parties & Catering Services Available Location: 1701 South Alexander St., Plant City Phone: (813) 754-5600 Hours: Mon. – Thurs. from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Fri. – Sat. from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Sun. from 12:00 Noon to 9:00 PM. Please check for new hours starting in August 2011. Prices: Moderate Includes a variety of pizza’s from $10.99 and bythe-slice from $2.51, calzones, strombolis, baked sandwiches and hoagies, wings, appetizers from $2.75 and baked dinners up to $9.49. Special variety dinner platters - $14.75 to $17.99. Daily salad bar. Beer & Wine Served with drink specials - $1.49 for a 16 oz drafts and $6.50 for a pitcher of beer Pizza Special - 18 inch pizza with one topping, includes a pitcher of beer or soda for $11.99

July 2011


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Ethanol is not the Answer Time to Look at Expanded Drilling, Non-Food Sources

Perfectly Fresh. Perfectly Priced. VEGETABLE SALE

by Jim Frankowiak For cattle rancher and dairyman Danny Aprile, corn-based ethanol fuel is “not the way to go” as far as a viable alternative to reliance on foreign oil for our energy needs. The same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, ethanol is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 and last year reached nearly 23 billion gallons with the US, the top producer, accounting for 57.5 percent of global production. Major global users of ethanol are Brazil and the U.S., together responsible for 88 percent of the world’s production of ethanol fuel last year. Most cars in the U.S. today can run on blends of up to 10 percent ethanol, and the use of 10 percent ethanol gasoline is mandated in some states and cities. Consideration is being given to approve a greater percentage of ethanol in future blends. This tremendous increase in the production of ethanol and its use as a biofuel additive for gasoline has had a significant impact on agriculture – some good and some bad. Farmers growing corn in the heartland have experienced high demands for their crops and significant prices hikes. “Forty percent of corn production now goes to the production of ethanol,” said Aprile. “That means there’s 40 percent less corn available for food production.” The price of corn has increased by more than 350 percent since 2000 and while that’s good news for corn farmers, others are hurting. “There are more than 4,000 items at the grocer store, from milk, meat and poultry to others that use corn syrup as a vital ingredient, that have been impacted by the increased demand for corn,” said Aprile. “And the future looks like more of the same with continued increases in food prices anticipated. We also have to consider the subsidies that come to play, not just for farmers, but ethanol producers, as well.” When first introduced, ethanol blended fuel “was supposed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and save fuel costs,” said Aprile. “That has not happened and more importantly there have

been a number of negatives that have surfaced as the production and use of ethanol blended has continued to grow.” “Beyond rising food and fuel prices, we have found our fuel mileage down 10 – 15 percent compared to what we achieved with non-blended fuel,” said Aprile. “As a consequence, we no longer use blended fuel.” “In addition, our maintenance costs have gone up, especially for gas powered equipment that is not used daily, like trimmers, mowers and chain saws. Blended fuel is hard on small gas engines,” said Aprile. “For all of these reasons, I firmly believe ethanol blended fuel is not the answer.” It must be noted that while Aprile is president of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Federation, his comments do not necessarily reflect those of the Farm Bureau board and are his personal opinion. “I believe it is time to take a close look at other sources for biofuels, sources that are non-food related such as corn,” he said. Ethanol can be produced from a variety of feedstocks such as sugar cane, bagasse, miscanthus, sugar beet, sorghum, grain sorghum, switchgrass, barley, hemp, kenaf, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, sunflower, fruit, molasses, stover, grain, wheat, straw, cotton, as well as many types of cellulose waste and harvestings. “Camelina oil has excellent potential for the production of jet fuel,” said Aprile. Beyond alternative sources for biofuels, Aprile would like to see the U.S. “proceed with oil drilling off the coast and in Alaska, provided enhanced safety regulations are put into place and enforced. This would certainly lessen our dependence on foreign oil, bring food and fuel prices down and create jobs,” he said. “We have tried ethanol, and it is not the answer,” said Aprile. “I would urge you to contact your elected officials and tell them it’s time to look at and support research into non-food related sources of biofuels and to expand off shore and Alaskan drilling with greater regulation so we can truly lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”

Fri. & Sat. July 15th & 16th • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fri. & Sat. August 19th & 20th • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Call in your order today or just drop by and see us!

Southwestern Produce Company 1510 Sydney Rd. • Plant City, FL

(813) 754-1500 or (813) 757-0096

***All items are 8 pounds unless otherwise noted.*** Fresh from the Farm to your Freezer!

Eating at Home More? Come See Us!

Baby Butter Beans ............... $13 Green Beans ....................... $13 Pole Beans .......................... $13 Speckled Butter Beans ......... $13 Blackeye Peas ..................... $13 Butter Peas .......................... $13 Conk Peas ........................... $22 Crowder Peas...................... $13 Green Peas ......................... $13 Mixed Peas ........................ $13 Pinkeye Peas....................... $13 Sugar Snap Peas ................. $15 White Acre Peas .................. $13 Zipper Peas ......................... $13 White Corn .......................... $12 Yellow Corn ........................ $12 Cream White Corn 4# ...........$ 6 Cream Yellow Corn 4# .........$ 6 Collard Greens.................... $12 Mustard Greens .................. $12 Turnip Greens ..................... $12 Spinach ............................... $12

Cut Okra ............................. $12 Breaded Okra ..................... $12 Whole Okra......................... $12 Sliced Yellow Squash .......... $12 Sliced Zucchini .................... $12 Brussel Sprouts ................... $12 Chopped Broccoli 5# ............$ 5 Baby Carrots ....................... $12 Broccoli ............................... $13 Cauliflower ......................... $13 Mixed Vegetables ............... $12 Soup Blend.......................... $12 Blueberries 5# .................... $15 Blackberries 5#................... $15 Raspberries 5# ................... $15 Cranberries 5# ................... $15 Mango Chunks 5# .............. $15 Pineapple Chunks 5# ......... $15 Dark Sweet Cherries 5#...... $14 Rhubarb 5# ........................ $10 Peaches ............................... $15 Fresh Peaches 25# box ...... $20



July 2011

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July 2011


Florida Farm Bureau President Reports, Praises and Issues Service Challenge by Jim Frankowiak Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick began his comments at the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau June board meeting with heartfelt thanks for the groups diverse grass roots efforts from interaction with elected officials and educational outreach to helping to generate awareness of the importance of agriculture to non-ag audiences. “It’s all so important and vital,” he said. Hoblick, who has been actively involved in Farm Bureau since shortly after graduating from the University of Florida in 1986, went on to discuss a number of staff changes that have been brought about by several retirements. His comments then focused on the impact of the economy on the federation and insurance company. “There has been limited growth of membership with some exceptions,” he said. “Hillsborough County has been one of them,” he noted. With focus on membership growth and the sale of profitable insurance products, Hoblick, a Volusia County fern producer, discussed the recent claims history, with particular focus on sinkhole claims and how required set asides have impacted the insurance company. He then described the many ways in which Farm Bureau is coping with the challenges of this difficult economy. “Our approach has been very conservative and reflective of flattened income stream,” he said. “One of our major challenges has been our employee retirement fund and the ongoing need to fund it to 110 percent.” “I am pleased to report that our staff has responded to the need to carefully watch expenses and take extraordinary steps to hold the line on expenses like doubling up when traveling and only seeking permission to travel for critical needs. We have had to make some tough calls, but we are doing it,” he said. “Our staff is working like a well oiled machine and I am proud of their energy and enthusiasm during these tough times.”


July 2011

Hoblick then went on to quickly review the most recent legislative session, which he characterized as “one of the best ever for agriculture. We fixed some errors that had been made in the previous session such as general Ag Bill and Greenbelt matter and made progress with a cap on unemployment taxes, credit limits and corporate taxes, as well as others.” “IFAS and the Department of Agriculture have felt the budget squeeze, but we are seeing the results of the great relationship we have with Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and how he is bring us all together.” Hoblick noted some efficiencies, including both regulation and enforcement, have yet to come and await Governor Rick Scott’s approval, but the future is bright. He pointed to revisions to growth management regulations and placement of the burden of proof on environmentalists, the dismantlement of the Department of Community Affairs and the placement of school nutrition programs under FDACS as positive indicators. “More work needs to be done, but we are pleased with the progress that is being made.” Hoblick was particularly praiseworthy of our local legislative delegation and said, “It is obvious that you work well with them.” He also complemented the board on its leadership development initiatives and enhanced awareness of the importance and role of the family farm in contemporary agriculture. He concluded his remarks with a challenge to the board by posing the question, “What can we do to make ourselves better in the community? There are other needs in the community that must be met,” he said. “The more we can do for our communities, the better we will be.” “Policy development is an opportunity for us to help our communities,” said Hoblick. “And by doing so, we are keeping ag as viable as we can in Florida.”

Eat Better. Love Life. Live Longer.

July 2011




Funeral Home

& Memorial Gardens

by Jim Frankowiak It’s hard to believe, but the new school year is just around the corner. If your back to school plans are limited to a trip to the mall for clothing and school supplies, the experts at Hillsborough County Extension suggest a number of other important considerations. “A child’s education is the responsibility of parents and teacher working together as a team,” said Diana Converse, Family Life Educator for the University of Florida Extension Service in Hillsborough County. “Parents can do much to set the stage for a child’s ability to achieve in school and it is vital that they stay involved throughout the process.” Converse notes that “research consistently demonstrates that children achieve at a higher level when their parents show an interest in school programs; are involved in their child’s school activities; maintain an on-going partnership with their child’s teacher and develop and nurture their relationship with their child.” Parenting style also plays a role in a child’s school success. “A parenting style refers to how a parent communicates with and disciplines a child,” said Converse. Children whose parents are either too demanding or too permissive often get lower grades and don’t develop the good habits that lead to success. Parents who get too involved in their children’s school work, a phenomenon called “Helicopter Parenting,” are also problematical since their children recognize mom and dad will take care of everything, a surefire way to foster failure, notes Converse. “Building a strong relationship with your child helps to lay a good foundation for success in school,” she said. “That means spending one-on-time with your child to show him or her how important they are is to you. Demonstrate your love for your child daily through your actions and words. Be kind with your words and calm with your actions,” suggests Converse. “Let them know that you have confidence in their ability to solve problems and do a good job. Praise their efforts and improvements. Be caring and supportive while encouraging your child to try their best. Listen carefully to your child’s school-related and other concerns. Be genuine in your interest and support. If you are simply going through the motions, your child will pick up on that.” “You might consider asking questions that require more than yes or no answers. For example, “Tell me what you learned in math today” will be more penetrating than “how was school?’” Be sure to address behavior with your child so they are clear and recognize standards that you have established and expect from them at home and at school. Parents should establish the basics for discipline at home and include rules for getting along with others in the classroom. This sets the stage for school and functioning in society. Don’t look at that as the teacher’s job. “Also, show your children that you believe reading and school works is both enjoyable and useful,” said Converse. Don’t over-


July 2011

look screen time – time spent watching television or videos, playing electronic games or on the computer. Set screen time limits and stick to them, she advises. That also holds true for bedtimes. Establish that schedule and maintain it since adequate rest also contributes to learning. Have in home resources available, such as books and magazines that your children can read. Reading with them each day is also a very good practice. “Overall, show your daughter or son that you truly believe education is important and want them to do their best,” said Converse. “Meet your child’s teacher as early in the school year as possible and maintain that relationship so you can quickly address concerns or issues as a team to the benefit of your child.” Advance planning can be a real life-saver and help make the school year proceed without a hitch. Consider having a folder set aside in a special place for keeping all school-related information such as phone numbers, report cards, key dates, meetings, etc. “Make sure your child as the school supplies – pencils, pens, paper, dictionary, etc. -- needed at home and keep them in one location. Have your child lay out the next day’s school clothes the night before and don’t forget the importance of breakfast. It is also helpful to plan and prepare the next day’s lunch if your child takes lunch to school. All of this advance planning and preparation helps to avoid a morning, pre-school crisis,” said Converse. “Good days at school typically don’t begin with a crisis.” Backpacks and book bags are great, but they can become great accumulators and should be cleaned out weekly. Do that with your child so together you decide what items are important and should be kept. “Motivation drives people to achieve and children do best in school when they want to succeed,” notes Converse. “Work with your child to have them come to understand that giving it their best in school is an investment in their own future. Give your child a sense of responsibility for their own school work. That does not mean doing the work for them, but being available to help and support their efforts with the right tools is what you should do. Step aside then and coach and cheer your child on.” To help prepare your plan for the upcoming school year, as well as other parenting tasks, Converse teaches workshops for schools, day care centers and parenting groups throughout Hillsborough County. For a list of upcoming parenting workshops, visit or contact Converse at 813744-5519, Extension 140 or by email: Diana Converse

Standing: Dan Druen - Funeral Director, Glenda Thomas Creative Development, Marsha Passmore Director of Marketing, Michael Dagrosa Funeral Director Seated: Margie Willis - Managing Partner, Edwena Haney President, not pictured Glenda Haney Managing Partner

Local Obituary

Mr. Roberto Millan–June1, 2011 • Ms. Isabel Martinez–June 1, 2011 Mr. Jack E. Huse–June 4, 2011 • Infant Caesar Zamorano-Velasco–June 7, 2011 Mr. Ronald L. Clark–June 7, 2011 • Ms. Leslie V. Hull–June 9, 2011 Mrs. Evie “Jean” Wood–June 14, 2011 • Mr. Jerald A. Bailey–June 15, 2011 Mrs. Charlotte Ann Davis–June 15, 2011 • Ms. Sylvia Kay Graves–June 18, 2011 Mrs. Dorothy Neese–June 18, 2011 • Mrs. Valeria “Pearl” Conerly–June 21, 2011 Mrs. Sharlene Harwood–June 23, 2011 • Mrs. Helen Theresa Twedell–June 25, 2011 Mr. Duane M. Galloway–June 26, 2011 • Mr. Stanton “Ray” Stokes–June 26, 2011 Mrs. Suzanne Laverne Erickson–June 30, 2011 • 813.737.3128

Family Owned & OperatedJfor Over 35 Years uly 2011 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 39 6005 State Rd. 39 South (1/2 mile south of State Rd. 60)| Plant City, FL 33567

USDA Notice to Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers:

Compensation for Claims of Discrimination If you are a female farmer or rancher or a Hispanic farmer or rancher and you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female, or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation, the USDA State Food & Agriculture Council (SFAC) in Florida announced in joint news release. You might be eligible if: • you sought a farm loan or farm-loan servicing from USDA during that period; and • the loan was denied, provided late, approved for a lesser amount than requested, approved with restrictive conditions, or USDA failed to provide an appropriate loan service; and • you believe these actions occurred because you are female or Hispanic. “We want all producers who may be eligible to be aware of this claims process for female and Hispanic farmers and ranchers, as well as the recent settlements with Native American and African American farmers and ranchers, so they can come forward and participate in these processes,” said Richard A. Macheck, State Director of Rural Development (RD) in Florida, who serves as this year’s chair of the SFAC. The SFAC is comprised of State-level agency heads of the three USDA partner agencies - RD State Director Richard A. Macheck, Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Timothy A. Manning and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Carlos Suarez - with membership from other USDA agencies in Florida. If you want to register your name to receive a claims package in the female and Hispanic farmers claims process, you can call the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or access the Website: In 2011, a Class Administrator will begin mailing claims packages to those who have requested one through the Call Center or Website. The claims package will have detailed information about the eligibility and claims process. In order to participate, you must submit a claim to the Claims Administrator by the end of the claims period. The claims process offers a streamlined alternative to litigation and provides at least $1.33 billion in compensation, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. 40 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

July 2011

The claims process provides up to $50,000 for each woman or Hispanic farmer who can show that USDA denied them a loan or loan servicing for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. Hispanic or female farmers who provide additional proof and meet other requirements can receive $50,000. Successful claimants may also be eligible for funds to pay the taxes on their awards and for forgiveness of certain existing USDA loans. There are no filing fees or other costs to claimants to participate in the program. Participation is voluntary, and individuals who opt not to participate are not precluded by the program from filing a complaint in court. If you are currently represented by counsel regarding allegations of discrimination against USDA or in a lawsuit claiming discrimination by USDA, you should contact your counsel regarding your claims process. USDA cannot provide legal advice to you. You are not required to hire an attorney to file a claim, but you may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider in your community for additional guidance. Audio and video public service announcements in English and Spanish from Secretary Vilsack and downloadable print and web banner ads on the Hispanic and women farmer claims process are available at: For more information, contact the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429 or access the following Website: This announcement follows the Obama Administration’s settlement of litigation brought by Native American farmers and ranchers and African American farmers. Any Native American farmer or rancher who was denied a Farm Loan or Loan Servicing by the USDA between Jan. 1, 1981 and Nov. 24, 1999, may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement. To request a Claims Package or for more information, call 1-888-233-5506 or visit African-American farmers who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999 and June 18, 2008 under the 1999 settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman (“Pigford”) and who did not receive a merits determination of their discrimination claim should call 1-866-9505547 or 1-866-472-7826 or visit USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 7206382 (TDD).

1401 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd • Plant City, FL 813-759-0009

July 2011


Remove the Vines and Just the Vines by Susan Haddock Commercial Horticulture/Integrated Pest Management/Small Farms Agent, UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension

As summer approaches with the rainy season and temperatures get hotter, those pesky woody vines leaf out, spread and begin to take over landscaped areas. Because some woody vines have a vigorous growth pattern they can become invasive. Maintenance crews can have difficulty managing woody vines, as they seem to appear out of nowhere. They may appear visually unapparent one week and have overgrown shrubs, small trees and fence lines the next week. Taking the proper steps and choosing the best control method can save time and money, prevent problems and avoid negative environmental effects. Utilizing integrated pest management (IPM) is important in controlling woody vines. IPM is the combining of appropriate pest control tactics into a single plan to reduce pests such as woody vines to an acceptable level. The first step of IPM is identification. Once one is familiar with the woody vine that needs to be controlled a plan of action can be formulated. Many woody vines are perennials and spread by seed or vegetatively by rhizomes, stolons, rooting of stems or creeping rootstock. Some species are harder to control than others as some vines have very persistent tuber root systems that make any method of eradication nearly impossible without a plan that combines cutting back, herbicide application and digging up the root system. In established landscapes this may not be a viable plan, so the most one can strive for may be systematic control. It is important that your client understands which woody vine you are dealing with and the action plan so that there are no misconceptions regarding the maintenance crew’s ability to eradicate vs. control the vine. Cultural and mechanical control includes sanitation, hand weeding and repeat cultivation. There are no selective herbicides that will control woody vines in broadleaf ornamental beds without potentially damaging the ornamental plants. Herbicide application is a control method in which an herbicide is applied directly to the vine via one of several methods. The three most common methods are foliar, basal bark and cut stump. Foliar application involves applying a water-based herbicide to the leaves and stems of the vine, usually using a pump or backpack sprayer. Surfactants may be added to the mix to enhance leaf coverage. With this method dead leaves and stems remain that require hand removal. Ornamentals and other sensitive vegetation may also be affected or killed. Herbicide drift should be a concern. Basal bark application involves applying an oil-based herbicide directly onto the bark around the circumference at 12 to 20 inches above the ground using a handheld


July 2011

spray bottle or pump sprayer. The oil serves as a carrier to aid in plant penetration. Plant diameter must be no larger than six inches to achieve control. The cut stump method involves cutting down the plant to above ground level and painting, spraying or squirting the oil-based herbicide onto the cut surface of the stem. This allows absorption by the cambium layer just inside the bark, which provides new cells for plant growth. Low-pressure equipment such as handheld spray bottles, pump sprayers or paintbrushes are ideal for this method. The cut stump method is the best for plants such as woody vines that tend to resprout. Applications can be made any time of the year, although often done in late fall or early winter. For best results the cuts should be level to prevent herbicide runoff, sawdust removed prior to application and the herbicide should be applied within one hour following the cut. Although this method is more labor intensive than foliar applications the chances of resprouting are much less. Triclopyr is a selective systemic herbicide commonly used to control woody vines and unwanted brush. In landscapes with established turfgrass, triclopyr may be the herbicide of choice as drift does not damage turfgrass as would a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate. The downside of triclopyr is that it will damage other ornamental non-target plants via contact from spray drift or root uptake from residues in the soil. Triclopyr degrades to triclopyr salt, which has an average half-life in soil of 30 days. However, the degradation in soil varies from two hours to over 400 days depending upon other factors. It degrades faster in full sun due to photodegradation and in soils with high organic matter content and moisture due to microbial metabolism. Residues can persist in plants until they die or drop leaves and decay. These dropped and decaying leaves can provide an additional source of triclopyr contamination in the landscape. Non-target plants can be damaged via root uptake of triclopyr soil residues from the initial application and from the contaminated decaying plant material. Controlling woody vines in the landscape requires a management strategy. Proper identification is key to developing an action plan. Combining cultural, mechanical and chemical control measures can be effective, however control measures may need to be repeated to achieve complete control. Check for regrowth several weeks after initial treatments and repeat treatments as necessary to eradicate established vines. Remember the pesticide label is the law, so always refer to the label for product use information and animal, plant and turfgrass tolerance.

Hillsborough County's Only Estate Winery Our Tasting Room & Gift Shop is open daily until 6PM

Friday Evening After Hours Wine Bar Dinner Served 5PM to 10PM Happy Hour 6PM to 7PM Live Music 6:30PM to 10:30PM $5 Cover Charge

Hillsborough County’s Winery HostOnly Your NextEstate Special Moment at Keel & Curley Our Tasting Room & Gift Shop is Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions Open Daily Until 6pm Bridal & Baby Showers Anniversary & Birthday Parties Sample allCorporate 10 Award Events Winning Wines for Just $5 Get Ready For Valentine's Day with Our One Day Wine Sale, 25% off wines on Wednesday, February 9th 11AM-6PM o all our Friday Evening After Hours Wine Bar Dinner Served 5pm to 10pm 813.752.9100 Happy Hour 6pm 7pm 5202 W. Thonotosassa Rd.,to Plant City (I-4 exit 17 - minutes East of Downtown Tampa) Live Music 6:30pm to 10:30pm $5 Cover Charge Host Your Next Special Moment at Keel & Curley! Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions Bridal & Baby Showers Anniversary & Birthday Parties Corporate Events

July 2011


A Nursery with History:

Beautiful Plants by Charlie by Ginny Mink Lou Dorman and her daughter, Sandy, are the owners of Beautiful Plants by Charlie located on Hwy 579 in Thonotosassa. However, that is a relatively recent situation. In fact, the business and its beginnings have quite an interesting history. Back in 1953, when Sandy was but a wee infant, Lou was married to Charlie Dorman. They were friends with, “Mr. Joiner, the only caladium hybridizer in the world,” at that time. Lou recalls, “He talked us into and helped us get started (in the nursery business). He said, ‘there’s nobody doing it.’” She smiles and adds, “Mr. Joiner lived right outside Hillsborough High School’s side door and he was also a postman. Years later I was on a tour of Seminole Heights’ old home restorations and one was Mr. Joiner’s house. I gave the man (the new owner) the history…and the guy realized that’s why he was getting all kinds of phone calls from around the world wanting caladium bulbs.” With Mr. Joiner’s tutelage and assistance Lou and Charlie opened Charlie’s Plant Farm on Connechusettes (by Busch Gardens), in 1953. Then they moved to Harney and Busch Blvd. where Sweetbay is now. “Back when we started we grew vegetables. You wrapped the plants in brown meat paper and they went in the farm stores mostly, but if they didn’t sell fast enough they died. They called them bare root. Then we went to little tin pie plates and we’d plant six plants and grow them and people had to cut them apart, but at least they got bulbs then instead of just bare root.” Eventually they began using cell packs and Lou explains, “You’d have half a dozen plants. They’re coming back now because people are wanting cheaper things with the economy being as sad as it is.” According to Lou, “All nursery stock was in gallon cans, there were no plastic pots then.” Obviously, times have changed drastically. In 1980, Lou and Charlie divorced and Lou bought 80 acres on McIntosh and bought Charlie’s Plant Farm from Charlie. In turn, 25 years ago, Charlie bought five acres on 579 and opened Beautiful Plants by Charlie. Sadly, he got sick five years ago and


July 2011

Lou and Sandy bought him out (he passed three years ago). These ladies also purchased the five acres behind the nursery. For a while they used all ten acres, “but the economy brought us up,” they explain, and so now the nursery is only set up on the front five acres. Charlie’s Plant Farm is still in existence, contrary to popular belief, it’s just different now. Lou’s son, Jim, uses 40 acres for strawberries. However, Lou clarifies, “The machinery and some buildings are still over there so we do all our transplanting there and then bring them over here and grow them on.” While Lou only works two or three days a week, she and one of her employees are responsible for planting every seedling that becomes part of Beautiful Plants by Charlie. Lou and Sandy only grow bedding plants like petunias, pansies, snapdragons, begonias and impatiens, though they have grown vegetables in the past. “Last year we tried it, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, cabbage, collards and lettuce, but we’re bedding plants and people aren’t used to coming here to get vegetable plants.” Actually, most of their clientele are landscaping companies because until relatively recently they didn’t sell to the public, but now they do. “At Christmas time we do a lot of poinsettias. We don’t grow them, we just broker them. You’re better off brokering them than when you grow ‘em,” Lou says. Central Florida is their main market and Lou admits, “This is just a tiny segment of what can be done. Charlie’s Plant Farm did nothing but retail stores, we ran eight semi’s, we owned three and leased five, and sold to three states. We do no chain stores here, we’re so antiquated it’s unreal. Although now we can plant in three hours what it used to take three days to plant.” On another topic all together, Lou and Sandy have a subscription to In the Field Magazine and, “as soon as it comes in we look at the Did You Know? section. That’s where we learned about canning classes.” Maybe they can utilize those classes for any vegetables that don’t sell.

The Hay Exchange has always offered the best quality hay for your animals every season, every day. But did you know there's a whole lot more inside when you visit our store? Farm Supplies, Pet Care Products and Feed, to name just a few.

Visit for more information on our extensive product line.

Extended operating hours Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri - 7a-7p Wed, Sat - 7a-6p

813-754-5405 4950 US HWY 92 W. Plant City, FL 33563

Your One-Stop Shop for the Best in Trailer Repair and Maintenance

Our expert mechanics specialize in repair and routine maintenance on all types of trailers, including custom work. Our inventory and access to basic and custom parts allows us to quickly get you back on the road so you can enjoy the great outdoors. In addition, we offer a full line of accessories including tool boxes, dog boxes, and transfer tanks.

You've got places to go and we want to help you get there! Conveniently located next to The Hay Exchange

July 2011



Tomatoes and Interns by Al Berry It’s rare that college students find a summer job interning with pay and earn six hours credit for their work. That’s the case with Austin Jackson and Charlie Dunn, both seniors at the University of Arkansas. This summer they are working at East Coast Brokers and Packers on Highway 60, just west of Mulberry near the Hillsborough County line. Their association with the Madonias, who own East Coast, came more than 22 years ago when Rosemary and Laurie Madonia were registering for college at Florida Southern in Lakeland. Next to them in line was Brenda Hulen, who was transferring during her sophomore year from a college in Missouri. Brenda, Rosemary and Laurie became instant friends and have kept in close contact with one another since meeting at Florida Southern in Lakeland. In 1985 Brenda got married with Rosemary as her ‘Maid of Honor’ and Laurie as a bridesmaid. Three years later along comes Austin, her first child. During all this time, even with a second son after Austin’s birth, the Jacksons and Madonias have always been very close. Recently while attending a wedding in Tampa, Austin made contact with Rosemary and Laurie at East Coast Brokers and Packers. The end result of this contact was an invitation to Austin to bring a friend and intern at the Madonias’ East Coast tomato operation in Polk County. One call to Charlie Dunn, a close friend, and the interns were on their way to Florida for the summer. The first day on the job they were assigned to Dustin Tillet, Food Safely Director for the tomato operation. The three of them hit the ground running. Dustin gave them an overview of their farming operation. Next he outlined a working plan that covered everything from harvesting to shipping. When asked about interning at East Coast Brokers and Packers, Austin said, “This is an opportunity of a life time for me. Charlie and I started the last of May and quickly developed a deeper appreciation for agriculture. The knowledge we have gained not only gives us an understanding of the ag process from the field to the end consumer, but also gives us more appreciation for the farming industry. Back home we have a friend who is a rice broker. He ships the rice out on the Mississippi River. Until I got here I thought that he had a large operation, but it’s small compared to East Coast Brokers and Packers.”


July 2011

Austin continued, “We have followed the process of tomatoes from the greenhouse, growing, harvesting, packing and shipping. We worked an established checklist that included an audit with a representative of the Florida Department of Agriculture. This is one complete process that insures the health safety of the consumer when buying tomatoes.” Austin believes working this summer at East Coast Brokers and Packers will be beneficial in obtaining his degree in commercial marketing and branding. Charlie Dunn could not praise the Madonias enough for giving him this internship. Like Austin, Charlie believes the business experience learned this summer will be helpful to him in the future. “There’s nothing better than on-the-job training,” Charlie said. “And the hands-on experience I am getting gives me a greater appreciation of the ag industry as a whole. I never realized how much the grower had to gamble to get a product harvested. Freezing weather, droughts, quarantines issued by the government and market prices all factor in when a decision is made to plant. The thing that impressed me the most is their ability to trace their tomatoes. We have learned the unique process that will allow them to trace where and when a tomato was picked should a health issue arise.” East Coast Brokers and Packers are on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to growing, harvesting, packing and shipping tomatoes. Charlie continued, “I was fascinated with the use of their electric eyes on their grading machine. This is part of the process they use to insure proper tomato sizing when packing. East Coast is without a doubt a state-of-the-art packing facility.” Batista Madonia, Sr. has been in the tomato business since he was 16 years old. He was the first grower in the Polk County area to utilize drip tube rather than seep irrigation. To insure protection of adjacent lands he constructed swales around his fields to avert harmful runoff, and has also constructed dykes and weirs so as to preserve the quality of Florida farmland and ponds. Batista, Evelyn his wife, and their family operate one of the largest tomato packing facilities in the southeast with operations in Florida and Virginia, yet they take time to help others like Austin Jackson and Charlie Dunn with their education.

Agritech 2011 August 16th & 17th

Vendors register early, space is limited this year. INCLUDED IN YOUR REGISTRATION: 2 people **breakfast and lunch both days 8’ x 8’ Booth 8’ high back drop, 3’ high side drape 2 side chairs 1 6’ Table 7’’ X 44’’ ID sign Electricity: 5 AMP 120 volt

Ready Set Go! Exhibitor space is limited so reserve your booth today! The 29th annual Agritech is hosted by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. As a vendor you will meet with growers and industry representatives, and enjoy great food. There are 50 booths available on a first come first serve basis. To qualify, Associate membership is required to participate in this event. Gold Associate members get a free booth with membership. So hurry and register. This is one event of the year where we have almost 90 percent of the industry in one room. This years theme is Nascar. Winning flags will be given out to the top three booths that participate in the theme by decorating their booth. Guest speakers and sessions are currently being lined up. Topics will include food safety, immigration, fumigant alternatives, trace back, and labor issues along with the latest information on research and technology.

Important Dates and Times: Set-up: Monday, August 15th 1 PM --5 PM Please have your exhibit set-up before the start of the show Tuesday morning by 7 AM. Tear down: Wednesday, August 17th after 1PM Please DO NOT tear down early. Show Times: Tuesday, August 16th 7:30 AM - 4 PM Wednesday, August 17th 7:30 AM 4 PM

* BOOTH Registration due by July 25, 2011 to be listed in the event program.



Agritech 2011 will be held at the same location as last year.

The John R. Trinkle Building is located at the Plant City Campus of the Hillsborough Community College. 1206 N.Park Road, Plant City, Florida 33563

* Hotel accommodations can be made at the Holiday Inn Express on Park Road. For a special rate mention the Florida Strawberry Growers Association Phone 813-719- 3800

July 2011



The trio covers the top hits from yesterday to today! Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.


Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room




Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room. Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.



Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday. “Forever in Love,” “Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Plus, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds.



Richie Merritt, formally of the Marcels, will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room. Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.



The trio covers the top hits from yesterday to today! Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

5:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m. Wednesday Evenings

AUGUST 6, 12, 19 & 27 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room


Bring in this coupon to receive

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.


The Mystics, including, original members of the group, George Galfo and Phil Cracolici, will perform their hits, including their number one chart topper “Hushabye.” P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

OFF Your Entree

When you join us for


Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room


Dinner on Thursday Choose any entree from our menu

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show. Good for Thursday nights only. Coupon expires - August 15, 2011


The trio covers the top hits from yesterday to today! Also, P.J. Leary’s Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

Must bring in this coupon for discount. One coupon per person / per check.


The Premier Showplace for Talent in Florida TEL: 813.752.3141 I-4 Exit 21• 2011 N. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL 33563

Mrs. Evelyn Madonia Owner


July 2011

July 2011


The Energizer Farm

Phosphate Operations “Helping Farmers Feed a Hungry World”

Salute to America! Please join CF Industries in supporting community events:

by: Ginny Mink


lant City is full of strawberry farms and no doubt it should be, since it has been dubbed the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.” But what happens when the strawberry season comes to an end? Certainly some farmers pack it in and take a hiatus (although a few might grow a crop of melons or onions). However, this is not the case at Spivey Farms, this is a farm that keeps going and going and going…well, you get the picture.


July 2011

Plant City Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Award Breakfast Wednesday, August 10, 2011 – 7:30 am Red Rose Inn & Suites Ballroom 2011 North Wheeler Street Plant City, Florida 33563 For more information and to make reservations to attend, call the Plant City Chamber of Commerce at (813) 754-3707.

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July 2011


Savannah Mitchell 8 years old

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Spivey Farms has been in operation since 1969 when Dennis Spivey decided to follow in his father’s footsteps by purchasing five acres of land. Dennis’ dad, “farmed in the Wachula/Zolfo Springs area growing strawberries, corn and peas,” says David Spivey, Dennis’ son. “My father started growing peppers, long hots, eggplant and okra,” reveals David. “His big jump into farming came in the late 1970s, when he leased 40 acres of land just south of Plant City,” but that was more of a weekend job. His full time job was “with Publix as a produce selector for 15-20 years. When he left Publix he grew strawberries and tomatoes commercially,” David explains. “Dennis continues to be the overseer of operations and handles all spray duties.” David Spivey is a fourth generation farmer, but farming is relatively new to him. In fact, as a child, he says he never worked on the farm, but he did help out in his family’s produce stand. Apparently he ran the cash register. After high school he went to FSU where he got a degree in meteorology. He had plans of being on TV and actually had a few job offers. However, he “went to work for a company that created a forecast for newspapers and hotels,” instead. He says he did that for a few years until he returned home “because Dad was building a cooler here and we needed someone to sell.” Spivey Farms is comprised of 82 acres (which Dennis purchased in 1994 when his lease on the 40 acres expired). However, they only utilize “55 acres or so,” because the “82 acres includes wetlands, the labor camp and coolers.” During fall and winter they grow 40 acres of strawberries and twice a year they grow ten acres of tomatoes. David says that “one of the things we do that’s a little different than other farms is, we pick the flats, cool them and ship them under our label.” David is responsible for sales, and has been for “9 or 10 years,” he says and then adds “Time flies when you’re having fun, I’m not sure how 52 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

July 2011

long. Steven, my brother, has been here two or three years. I do all the sales, I load the trucks.” David also manages all food safety issues and is in charge of shipping and receiving. “Stephen handles harvesting operations and other essential duties to keep the farm sustainable.” Linda, David’s mom, is involved in the farm, too. She handles all the accounting duties for their farm. This active involvement from all of them makes Spivey Farms a true family farm. During strawberry season they grow three different varieties, “75 percent Festival, 20 percent Radiance and 5 percent Camarosa.” They also grow Cherry and Grape tomatoes at that time. “We send them up North; it’s the same as strawberries,” he explains, “supply and demand. This year tomatoes were good, there hasn’t been a lot of labor in Florida; people couldn’t pick their crops so the market was good. That’s why you just plant every year at the start and just hope it works out.” David smiles and adds, “That’s farming, that’s why farmers are stubborn, it ebbs and flows.” Of course they’ve had their share of bad times too, when “everybody has too many and we’re picking too many so the market collapses, that’s the fun time of year,” he says, sarcastically, “You’re working for nothing, literally working for pennies.” Even though strawberry season is over David says, “The fun never stops, at least at this farm, there’s not much rest,” and that is because they are growing peas: black eyes, pink eyes, conks and zippers, on 15 acres, a few acres of corn: sweet white and bi-color (candy), as well as five acres of green peanuts, all of which are sold to the public unlike their strawberries and tomatoes. They sell their peas shelled or unshelled by the bushel, but he says, “Most people want to shell them themselves.” The peas grown on Spivey Farm are also known as Southern Peas because they tolerate warmer weather than other peas. “Southern peas are also called cowpeas or field peas

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July 2011


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because they are sometimes fed to livestock or used as green manure,” ( Actually, these peas are similar to beans when it comes to the manner in which they are grown. With regards to corn, they never grow more than three or four acres worth because typically “you can only pick one time and you can’t grow corn super late because it gets full of worms and bugs the hotter and wetter it gets.” Here is a little known fact about sweet corn, “Florida ranks number one nationally in the production and value of fresh market sweet corn, typically accounting for approximately 25 percent of both national sweet corn production and of U.S. cash receipts for fresh sales,” ( In late July and August they start growing green peanuts. In case you were wondering, “green peanut” is a term used to describe fresh culled peanuts that haven’t been dehydrated. Of course most of us know that boiling green peanuts is a custom in the southern parts of the US, however, they are also savored in India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Australia, and Vietnam. There are many ways to create delicious boiled peanuts, depending on the seasoning used, but the primary modus operandi is the same for all of them, and the process of boiling makes the 54 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

July 2011

peanuts more salubrious for you, due to the fact that boiled peanuts contain higher polyphenol antioxidants levels than roasted ones ( As if all these additional vegetables weren’t enough, in September, once the peanuts have been harvested, “we start laying plastic and the fun starts again when we plant strawberries in October,” David says. David has been married to his wife, Lisa, a Plant City High School Honor Grad, since 1999 and they have three beautiful children. Their oldest is Hannah, she’s 11 and then there’s Zachary, 8, and finally their little spitfire, Abigail, 4. Lisa teaches gifted science at Springhead Elementary. When discussing teaching and school, David admits he only took ag in seventh grade and was never in FFA. But, he says, “It doesn’t mean I’m not skilled at what I do now.” In fact, he says, “Anyone who comes into this kind of business is clueless, you’ve got to learn the ropes. Growing strawberries isn’t as easy as it looks, it’s a lot of dedication and money, you can’t just plop ‘em in the ground and go away for two months.” He jokes, “I can’t tell you what kind of cow you have, I guess I could tell you if it’s a boy or a girl, but I can tell you how to plant and grow strawberries,” and peas and corn and peanuts. Perhaps his meteorological experience helps?

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July 2011


July 2011


Helps To Fund Strawberry Farm Projects To Reduce Groundwater Withdrawals

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by Jim Frankowiak The Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) recently voted to approve $1,027,270 in funding to help cover the costs of projects designed to reduce groundwater withdrawals at five eastern Hillsborough County strawberry farms. The growers will provide an additional $873,872 to support total project costs. The District estimates that the completed projects will reduce groundwater withdrawals by 514,642 gallons per day and 5.73 million gallons for frost/freeze protection. Four of the five projects are located at strawberry farms within the Dover/Plant City Water Use Caution Area (WUCA). Existing and future farms within this area with crops that require frost/freeze protection are now under special requirements developed by the District in response to the January 2010 freezes which resulted in more than 750 dry wells and more than 140 sinkholes. The five projects are being funded under the District’s Facilitating Agricultural Resources Management Systems (FARMS) Program, which is an agricultural cost-share reimbursement program created by the District and the Florida Department of Agriculture that helps to conserve water and to protect water quality. Funding comes from both the District’s Governing Board and the Alafia River Basin Board. The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is also providing funding assistance for reservoir excavation on several projects. The involved operations include: Astin Farms, San-Way Farms, Sewell Farms, Sizemore Farms and Sydney Farms. The projects include surface water irrigation and tailwater recovery systems and one instance of crop cloth row covers. Surface water irrigation is irrigation provided by a surface water source as opposed to a groundwater source. Tail water is the water that flows back to the pond after it has been applied as irrigation. During irrigation events, the plant uses some water, some water evapo-


July 2011

rates, some recharges the aquifer and some runs off the property into local streams and rivers. The runoff water can be captured on-site into a reservoir for use again, thereby eliminating the need to pump water from the ground. The reservoirs also capture excess rainfall Crop cloth row covers are a fairly lightweight fabric that can be placed over crops to provide insulation from cold temperatures. The practicality of row covers on large areas is a concern and they are hard to apply during windy conditions. The District estimates row covers can be used on 75 percent of the freeze events and would result in no water use over the area they cover during those freezes. The Astin Farms project includes two surface water irrigation and tailwater recovery systems at Astin’s 526-acre South Farm and 10-acre Karpee Road farm. FARMS funding will help pay for project pump stations and piping used for strawberry bed preparation and plant establishment, as well as frost/freeze protection. Total project cost is estimated to be $484,307 with District reimbursement up to $263,240. Anticipated daily groundwater withdrawal savings could be an average of 163,450. The San-Way project is located at its 70-acre farm and funding will partially reimburse the grower for a pump station, filters, an in-line chlorinator and piping. Total project cost is estimated at $334,183 andthe District’s reimbursement would be up to $165,868. Groundwater reductions could be up to 96,740 gallons per day and 2.3 million gallons for frost/freeze protection. The $152,292 Sewell Farms project with a potential reimbursement of up to $92,480 involves 25-acres of row covers and a surface water irrigation and tailwater recovery system at the 108-acre farm. Daily groundwater savings are estimated at up to

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55,242 gallons and 3.1 million gallons for frost/freeze protection. Sizemore Farms could be reimbursed up to $395,182 for a surface water irrigation and tailwater recovery system at its 242acre English Creek farm. FARMS funds will help pay for pumps, pump sheds, piping, a weather station, tailwater recovery system, culverts and filtration systems. Daily groundwater savings are estimated at up to 134,761 gallons. Sydney Farms project includes a surface water irrigation and tailwater recovery system at its Donini Farm with a total cost of approximately $279,860 and a potential reimbursement of up to $110,500. Daily water use savings as a result of the project are estimated at 64,449 gallons and 374,000 gallons for frost/freeze protection. The District’s Resource Data & Restoration Director, Eric DeHaven, said the response to the voluntary program has been good and continues to grow. “Funding is based on a first come, first served basis,” he said. “There are a number of requirements for the selection of a project for funding: 1) the project must be in the District, 2) it must be in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, 3) the project must have a reduction in groundwater withdrawals, 4) project components funded by the District must not be funded by other programs, 5) the applicant must be willing to enter into a contractual agreement with the District.” DeHaven said additional information and the application is available at “For staff to approve the application and recommend approval to the Governing Board, the project needs to meet the appropriate cost/benefit ratio for the commodity type involved, the Best Management Practice involved and the amount of water offset,” he said. Though projects differ “we generally require completion of construction within one year after the contract has been signed. Contract execution usually occurs within a few weeks to months after board approval and project construction can begin. Following construction completion, we then enter into a monitoring period for 5 to 20 years to ensure project success. The monitoring period varies among projects,” said DeHaven. “Our overall goal is to reduce the pumping that occurred in January 2010 by 20 percent or 180 million gallons per day by 2020 and the projects approved to date, when completed, will potentially account for a reduction of about 40 million gallons per day for frost/freeze protection.” DeHaven believes continued interest and increased participation by growers and ongoing support by the District makes that goal attainable.

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July 2011


Phosphate Mining in the Bone Valley by Jim Frankowiak

If you traveled through the area of central Florida known as Bone Valley, which encompasses portions of present-day Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk counties, you have undoubtedly seen large excavators, also known as draglines, in operation at various phosphate mines located in the valley. Those huge machines are mining phosphate which is used in the production of agricultural fertilizer. Florida has the largest known deposits of phosphate in the U.S. While an impressive sight and vital activity in the production of agricultural fertilizer, Bone Valley mining consists of many, many steps before, during and after the draglines excavate raw pebble phosphate mixed with clay and sand, which is also called matrix. For CF Industries and its mining operations in Hardee County, the initial steps associated with a new mine project include prospect drilling, sampling and laboratory analysis to determine the quality and quantity of the phosphate ore reserve. That information leads to the formulation of mining plans and production forecasts. The next step in the process involves wildlife and habitat surveys with special attention given to high quality wetlands, uplands and intact stream systems as areas to be established with preservation area boundaries or “no mine” locations within the scope of the overall mining project. CF Industries’ environmental team then begins the permitting application process with local, state and federal agencies, while the company’s community affairs team conducts meetings with various stakeholder groups to receive valuable input on the project from interested civic and business organizations to local elected officials. Once the mining project has been approved by the regulatory agencies and before any land clearing activities take place, species such as the gopher tortoise are carefully relocated to the appropriate nearby habitat and placed safely out of harm’s way. Water recharge ditches are then dug along the perimeter of the mine boundary and immediately adjacent to any nearby environmentally sensitive areas and kept full of water to avoid impacts to these areas. CF Industries takes particular pride in its industry

leadership in water conservation. The company recycles 95 percent of the water it uses during the mining process. Once the matrix has been mined, it makes its way from the dragline into what is known as a pit car station where it is hydroblasted to create a milkshake-like consistency that can be pumped for miles from the mine site to the beneficiation plant. At the plant, the matrix is separated. The phosphate ore is loaded into railcars for the trip to CF Industries’ Plant City fertilizer manufacturing complex. The remaining sand and clay is pumped back to the mine site for use in the land reclamation process. “We pump the material returned from the beneficiation plant back into the mine cuts to one foot below the final grade,” said Reclamation Supervisor George Opderbeck. “Then we truck in native topsoil for the uplands and native wetland muck for the wetland and place it in a one foot lift. A long term integrated model that takes into consideration surface water flow and groundwater flow is used to guide and verify the design. “For the sand/clay mix, we run a consolidation model which projects the final topography of the consolidated sand/clay surface. This is used to guide and verify the design. “According to a study by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, CF Industries’ mitigation wetlands have scored higher than the wetlands that we have mined on the basis of overall functionality. That varies on the basis of surrounding habitat and wildlife. Essentially, we have often been successful in returning wetlands to a higher level of functionality than they were prior to mining. In fact, ours are some of the highest scoring wetlands that have been reclaimed by the industry,” said Opderbeck. “Forested wetlands have more than 400 trees per acre and depending on the type of land use the forested uplands have between 100 and 200 trees per acre. “Wildlife quickly utilize the reclaimed sites as evidenced by the large number of deer, feral pigs and sand hill crane,” he said. “We also have an ibis rookery forming on one of our forested wetlands. We are extremely proud of our reclamation initiatives, which bring full circle the process of our work.”

CF Industries’ completed reclamation of Hickey Branch, a beautiful and ecologically successful post mining site in Hardee County.


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July 2011


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Giving Back to the Organization and Community by Jim Frankowiak “Giving back” is an apt description of what the men and women of the Plant City Collegiate FFA Chapter do on a continuing basis. “They give back to FFA and to the community,” said Professor Jim Dyer, faculty advisor to the chapter at the University of Florida Plant City Academic Center. Collegiate FFA is a form of membership within the National FFA Organization. It was formed in 1931 and has continued to be an influential part of agriculture education on the postsecondary and secondary level of education. The group’s vision states “Collegiate FFA empowers values-driven pre-professionals to lead and serve in schools, businesses and communities.” Its mission is “to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.” And the purpose of Collegiate FFA is to “enhance the collegiate experience through service and engagement to create premier leaders, enable personal growth and ensure career success.” The Plant City chapter was formed four years ago and has 35 dues-paying members “and a list of people with varying degrees of interest and participation that’s nearly three times that,” said Chapter President Brittany Mess. To become a member of the chapter a person must be a high school graduate currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning such as a community college or four-year college or university. The chapter comprises members from UF’s Plant City Academic Center, students at nearby Hillsborough Community College, as well as students at other institutions from as far south as Sarasota County to those touching Hillsborough County. The Plant City Collegiate FFA Chapter is one of two in the state. The other chapter is located at UF in Gainesville. In addition to Mess, chapter officers include Vice President Kim Myers, Vice President Curtis Temple, Secretary Brooke Warnock and Treasurer Chanse Huggins. Amanda Russell serves as Chapter Reporter, while Kayla Marsh is Sentinel, Jessica Story is Chaplain and Kyle Yerdon is Parliamentarian. Historian Terry Hattan rounds out the officer roster. The current calendar of chapter activities comprises not


July 2011

only monthly meetings, but ongoing examples of FFA support and service to the community. “Although I am the chapter advisor, this is a group of committed and responsible young adults putting into practice what they have learned as members of FFA,” said Dyer. FFA support runs the gamut from judging various competitive events and conducting leadership workshops to sponsoring the federation’s banquet in Hillsborough County. “Our group assists with livestock shows and sales at both the Florida State Fair and Strawberry Festival,” said Mess. “We also function as ambassadors working on membership recruitment at UF and HCC in Plant City. And we help FFA teams prepare properly for many different types of competitive events.” “Collegiate FFA prepared and presented five different workshops at the recently completed state FFA convention,” said Dyer. Community service for the chapter includes an Adopt-AHighway initiative, volunteer assistance at the annual Strawberry Festival, help with various HCC/UF activities and UF orientation at the Plant City Academic Center. There is also a social side to CFFA, said member Bridgette Compton. “I love it here!” she noted. “Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I never dreamed college could be this much fun!” Warnock explained that in addition to the professional aspects of the organization, meetings might include such things as cookouts, movies or attending sporting events. “UF students at Plant City are very close because of CFFA. We have fun being together and participating in activities such as going out to eat for someone’s birthday.” Professor Dyer noted “many of our Collegiate FFA members are working students with precious little time for extracurricular activities, but they recognize the importance of commitment and service and find the time to help the organization and community.” High school graduates currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning and interested in learning more about the Plant City Collegiate FFA Chapter are encouraged to contact Jim Dyer at 813-757-2288 or at JEDYER@UFL.EDU.

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July 2011


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by Ginny Mink In a disproportionate amount of the time, teenagers are viewed in a negative light. However, on occasion, a teenager comes across as a “good kid.” Michelle Gullans is one such 17 year old. She’s friendly and hard working and now she’s the FFA President at Armwood High School. Michelle started ag classes in the sixth grade at Jennings Middle School when Julie Johnson was the ag teacher there. She says she “started out showing goats,” and then she explained that she “showed the same goat all through middle school.” The goat’s name was Ellie, and Michelle “placed second in class all three years.” While at Jennings she did “a lot of contests, like goat judging.” However, her favorite “would be poultry because I placed top 10 in the county and OH Demos where we made projects out of horticulture plants ‘cause you can use your creativity.” In addition, she went to all the leadership conferences where “we played a bunch of ice-breaker games to get to know everybody. It made it easier to talk to people you didn’t know and we learned public speaking.” By the time Michelle reached eighth grade she was the FFA President at Jennings and that, she says, “is when I decided to stay in FFA. I wasn’t too sure about Armwood’s FFA but I made it my goal to become President my senior year.” She continues, “In the process of achieving my goal I learned how to show dairy cows and beef cows, I competed in twice as many competitions like nursery and landscaping and dairy judging.” In recalling her ag beginnings she explains, “Julie Johnson was my first impression of ag and she’s the reason I’m still in it. She always found a way to keep everything fun while it was still business like. Studying for competitions was two or three days a week after school but that’s why I placed high in poultry and other competitions. She always made you stick to your word. She made you feel like you had a purpose being in ag, like there was a reason you were doing it. She probably taught me the most out of anybody in middle school, more than a teacher would when it comes to things I’ll actually use in my life.” It is obvious that Michelle’s middle school ag teacher had a profound impact on her life. This is further evidenced by the fact Michelle was able to obtain an FFA officer position her freshman year and maintained that office, Secretary, for her sophomore and


July 2011

junior years. When it came to running for President she found herself competing with a friend, but they agreed not to let it come between them. “He’s the Vice President now, we make a good team. We have a lot of goals for next year.” Some of those goals include, “Having more than just the officer team participate in competitions. We want to get people involved even if they’re not in ag and we’re trying to educate the public more. We’ll go to middle schools, put up booths at fairs, have car washes and hand out brochures about FFA.” One of Michelle’s personal goals is to attend as many FFA conventions as she can, “like National Convention in Indianapolis, COLT in Haines City and another conference in Washington, D.C.,” but she says, “even though I have a job,” (she works at Cracker Barrel), “it’s expensive.” So, Michelle sent out 25 sponsor letters to help her pay for the conventions. She says she’s already received one back and is hoping to get at least four more positive responses. When school starts again she plans on sending out more letters. She says the reason she wants to attend the conferences and conventions is “to learn more leadership skills and speaking skills for my career.” Long term plans for Michelle include attending HCC to get her “basic credits and then go to UF and get a degree in ag.” She adds, “I want to be an ag teacher but it depends on the options I might find in college ‘cause ag is really big and there’s a lot of variety. I still want to make sure that whatever I do for a living, I want kids to know about ag.” No doubt her initial desire to be an ag teacher has been spurred on by her relationship with Julie Johnson. Michelle says, “Ag has kept me sane, it’s something I can fall back on, in the future I can use it, there’s so many scholarships, it looks great on applications and it’s something I love to do.” Proudly, Michelle informs us, “I ordered my first corduroy FFA jacket with my name on it,” and then she gives further kudos to her middle school ag teacher, “Julie Johnson is the biggest inspiration I’ve ever had. If she taught to change somebody’s life, she definitely did her job.”


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A Closer Look: Bioluminescence; The Living Light

A Closer Look:

Bioluminescence; The Living Light

Verna McKelvin, Manager

By Sean Green

Norman D. Davis,

Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service,

Jessica Lawrence, Eurofins Agroscience Services,

bleeding” to protect itself in the same manner The light shows in the sky earlier this Firefly that comes naturally to Photinus. Like the fire month pale in comparison to the wondrous beetle, the firefly eggs glow as well as the larva light show nature can provide. Certain organ(glowworms). Fireflies can be found in moist isms produce light through chemical reacmarshy environments and near streams, far tions taking place within their bodies known from competing city lights, where they feed on as Bioluminescence. Bioluminescence litersnails, slugs, and earthworms. ally means Living Light, from the Greek bios Glowing Mushrooms may seem like some(living) and the Latin lumen (light).The reacthing you would only find in Pandora, the habittion involves the oxidation (chemical burnable moon on which the Na’vi lived in the 2009 ing) of luciferin, a biological pigment, adfilm Avatar, however, it was our nature world enosine triphosphate (ATP), a cellular energy that served to inspire the films academy award source and luciferase, the enzyme that starts winning visual qualities. Bitter Oyster (Panelthe reaction. Magnesium and manganese are lus stipticus) is one of several species of bioluchemical elements that react with an enzyme minescent fungi that can be found in Florida. called luciferase to create a chemical exploThis species has become more important with sion of cold light. the discovery of its formidable ability to detoxify The Fire Beetle (Pyrophorus) is one of the most impressive bioluminescent click beetles in the world. environmental pollutants. It grows in clusters on logs and stumps Known as the brightest bioluminescent insect in the world Py- of deciduous trees such as Oak, and Birch and glows from the rophorus has two glowing “headlights” that are said to be bright underlying gills of the mushroom. Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms enough to read a book by and a taillight underneath that glows (Omphalotus illudens) are large orange mushrooms with yellow when it flies. Its lights do not flash like a firefly, but can be dimmed or orange gills. This species is toxic and often mistaken for the for non-threatening situations. Adults feed on pollen and small non-toxic Cantharellus mushroom. The Jack-O-Lantern mushinsects including aphids and scale insects. Larvae are important room has a dull green glow to its gills and is only visible in nearly detritivores that feed on organic material but also are predators of pitch black conditions after the eyes have adjusted. Earthworms can glow too! Diplocardia termites and other beetle larvae. This inJack-O-Lantern longa is a species of large earthworm that is sect glows in every stage of its life and can Mushrooms common in Florida. It can reach lengths of 15 be found in soil and decaying logs. inches. When threatened, Diplocardia longa Fireflies (Lampyridae) are not flies at release blue bioluminescent fluid. Imagine all, but actually winged beetles of the Cowhat that would do for your fishing trips. leoptera family. Worldwide there are over Red Tide is large concentration of phy2,000 species, over 50 occur in Florida. The toplankton blooms, commonly called algae common eastern firefly (Photinus pyralis) blooms. Blooms are triggered by pollutants is the most frequently sighted in Florida. and other excessive amounts of nutrients, noThis species is easy to recognize in flight by its J shaped posture. Males are famous for their flashing mating tably phosphates and nitrates found in fertilizers, which wash into signals. The females do not typically fly, but respond with flashing the water. Certain species of phytoplankton, such as dinoflagelate, patterns to guide the males in for mating. Some flashing patterns are known to have bioluminescent defense mechanisms. Sea Sparare thought to be a defense mechanism warning predators to stay kle is a common name for Noctiluca scintillans, a dinoflagellate away. The toxic steroidal compound called lucibufagins closely re- commonly associated with Red Tide. They produce light when sembles the venom of poisonous toads and repels natural preda- disturbed as a defense mechanism, attracting larger predators to tors such as birds, lizards, and most spiders. The steroid produced consume its own predator. This characteristic creates a light show with every disturbance in the water, be it a from this species is so effective at repelling splash, the churning of water from an oar, or natural enemies that another firefly speOyster Mushrooms even waves breaking on the beach. Blooms cies, Photuris, uses its ability to light up have occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on a to mimic the mating call of Photinus, luryearly basis and will likely continue, though ing the male like a siren only to consume the danger of Red Tide discourages most him and ingest the defensive lucibufagins from witnessing this fascinating phenomthat she cannot produce within her body enon. for protection from predators. Once Photuris has ingested enough lucibufagins, it can excrete the chemical through “reflex


July 2011

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Naturally Amazing Activities MAKE GLOWING SLIME by Sean Green

There is something about things that glow that seems to fascinate the human mind. Creating an activity that would mirror the article on bioluminescence would be expensive and difficult to do so safely without a controlled environment such as a chemistry lab. In the interest of celebrating the glow of bioluminescent nature, this month we will create our own glowing slime. Although it will not actually glow in the same manner that mushrooms and fireflies glow, it is nevertheless a fun and inexpensive project. Tonic water glows under a black light because of the chemical quinine that is used to make it. Quinine is a crystalline compound that readily absorbs UV radiation and transmits the stored energy as light that can be seen under a black light (ultraviolet light). Anything made from tonic water such as ice cubes, jello, or drinks, will also glow under a black light. Using tonic water in our slime recipe will make our slime glow under a black light.


July 2011

Materials: • • • •

Black Light Tonic Water Cornstarch Food Coloring


Place cornstarch in a bowl and mix with water at a 1:1 ratio, add cornstarch as desired to create the desired consistency and food coloring to the desired color. The mixture will become thicker as it settles, similar to jello thickening as it cools. If you want thinner slime, just add more tonic water and mix well. Turn on the black light and enjoy the glow! Get creative with this one, see what happens if you make different color slime. Can you mix the finished slime in the same way you can mix colors in painting?

July 2011


Fred Nation, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,

Air Potato

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho,

Australian Pine

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho,

Skunk Vine


Florida’s Been Invaded

by Ginny Mink The media has begun to expound upon intensely orange in color; Chinaberry treethe issue of invasive species but many peo- has small lilac-colored flowers and fruit that ple are still unaware of just how significant is poisonous to humans and livestock; Chithese unwanted visitors are when it comes nese tallow tree (Popcorn tree)- produces to the harm they are causing native habitats milky, poisonous sap and its seeds look like and agriculture. This is no small problem popcorn; Cogon grass- has yellow-green with billions of dollars spent annually to leaves that are very pointed and hairy at the control the invasion and repair the damages base, it is found in pastures and is highly caused therein. flammable; Guinea grass- has long, narInvasive species can arrive in our bor- row, flat, bright green hairy leaves, it was ders unintentionally via imported goods first introduced as animal fodder; Japanese and as stowaways in the ballast waters of climbing fern and Old World climbing fern large ships. However, others are intention- – these are viney ferns with wiry green or orally delivered to our continent and state, ange stems; Kudzu vine- has brown, woody, most times as “exotic pets,” that people rope-like stems with wide, flattened bean decide they no longer wish to care for and pods and it can kill trees; Lead tree (Jumbie therefore are released. bean)- its mimosa-like leaves grow from a Farmers are not immune to these alien brown trunk with white spots and it proinvaders, some of which duces puffy white flowers; are plants, bugs or fish. Melaleuca (Punk tree)For the sake of this article, has lance shaped leaves the focus will be placed on that smell like camphor the invasive plants deemed when crushed, it can cause to be of the utmost conrespiratory irritation; cern. To list the invasive Mexican petunia, Mexispecies in Florida would can bluebell, Britton’s wild require far too much Kudzu Vine petunia- prominent veins space. Thusly, a short de- James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, on underside of leaves scription of some of the with white, pink or purple more problematic invaders will be provided flowers, it was introduced as an ornamental here, as well as, some of the methodolo- plant; Rosary Pea (Crab’s eyes)- its fruit is gies utilized to control and hopefully eradi- an oblong pod that has bright red seeds with cate these pests. Together people can assist black bases inside, these seeds are very poiFlorida’s agricultural market in protecting a sonous to humans, cattle and horses; Skunk much-needed resource. vine- its leaves emit a “skunky” odor when “While there are more than 125 ex- crushed; Torpedo grass (Bullet grass)- the otic species identified by the Florida Exotic stems are hairy at the tips and rough to the Pest Plant Council (EPPC) as Category I touch, it is considered a major threat and or II pest plants, the Invasive Species Task can be found in citrus groves; Tropical soda Force of Hillsborough County, Florida, has apple- its small round fruit look like a tiny selected 20 especially troublesome plant watermelon, it has white flowers with five species found in the Tampa Bay region. Lo- petals and its stems and leaves are prickly, cal, state and federal governments, farmers this plant is a big problem for agriculture and ranchers, and other organizations play since it is spread by mowers and other maa role in the control of non-native invasive chinery as well as contaminated hay seed. plants. Ecologically, these plants change the When trying to get rid of these invasive composition of natural plant and animal plants, there are three methods of applying communities. Many animal species that co- herbicides. “The three techniques are foliar, exist and evolve with native plant communi- basal bark and cut-stump. The foliar methties cannot readily adapt to rapid changes od involves the application of the herbicide made to their habitats by nonnative invasive directly to the leaves of the plant, while the species.” ( basal bark technique treats the bark of the The following are the 20 invasive plant plant at or near ground level. The cut-stump species identified by the Invasive Species method requires the plant to be cut down Task Force of Hillsborough County: Air and the herbicide applied immediately folpotato (Air yam)- a vine with heart shaped lowing and directly to the cut surface of the leaves and aerial tubers; Australian-pine stump.” ( (Suckering Australian-pine)- looks like a While this is not an exhaustive, all inpine but has branchlets instead of needles; clusive list of invasive plants and the methBrazilian pepper- has toothed leaves that ods of eliminating them, it does provide smell peppery when crushed, it is related some necessary information for farmers and to poison ivy and produces clusters of red lay people about how to identify and deal berries; Carrotwood tree- produces white to with these problematic pests. For further green flowers and fruit with seeds that are information feel free to visit

July 2011

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Making Florida’s future

that much sweeter

Healthy Sweetness: Coconut Sugar

Florida citrus growers — like so many American farmers — rely on crop nutrients to produce more abundant crops. This means lower food costs for us and more land that can be preserved for the environment. It is our business and our honor to provide farmers across America — and right here in Florida — with the crop nutrients they need to help feed the world.

by Ginny Mink When people think of Florida, inevitably somewhere in the midst of the imagery their minds create, they envision palm trees. Sadly, most people conjuring up Florida imagery fail to grasp the diversity found within those glorious palms. In fact, a lot of people think that all palms grow coconuts, but this is simply not true, out of the 2500 palm species in existence, there are only two types that grow coconuts, the three year and the six year coconut palm. What might be particularly surprising about coconut palms is that they are now being used to make sugar! No doubt most people have heard all the arguments and defenses of corn sugar (high-fructose corn syrup), and the negative aspects of aspartame, but how many people know anything about coconut sugar? Very few, probably. Yet, People Magazine named coconut sugar one of the top ten health trends for 2010. “Coconut sugar is produced from the sweet juices of tropical coconut palm sugar blossoms. Traditional sugar farmers climb high into the canopy of swaying coconuts and harvest the sweet nectar by gently slicing the flower. Once collected, the nectars are kettle-boiled into a thick caramel and ground to a fine crystal,” The boiling process itself is relatively simple and the sugar that is created allows for a slow release of energy when ingested rather than the highs and lows of other cane sugars. Coconut palm sugar is low on the Glycemic Index and therefore has several health benefits. First of all, it is beneficial for people with diabetes because it improves glucose and lipid levels. It also aids in weight control for those of us worried about those extra inches. Its major component is sucrose and it is naturally high in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron and includes several vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. Buyer beware though, some coconut sugars have cane sugar and maltodextrin added. According to, “Coconut palms are considered the “Tree of Life” by many traditional communities throughout the world, as one tree can provide a multitude of usable goods, such as roofing material, food, coconut water, building material and shade for crops. Reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the World Bank show that Coconut Palms and other nectar producing species of palms are likely the world’s most sustainable sweetener.” Why? Well, they are twice as productive and more sustain-


July 2011

able because they can grow in varied and diverse ecosystems. “Coconut Palms can grow in severely depleted soil (think of a sandy beach!) and use very little water. In fact, not only do they require such little maintenance, but they actually improve soil structure, fertility and water conservation, thereby allowing marginalized land to become lush jungle over time.” In addition, they produce nearly 75 percent more sugar than sugar cane and utilize a fifth of the soil nutrients required for that formation (www. “While coconut palm sugar has long been a staple for South East Asian culinary heritage and herbal medicine, the evolution of this traditional sweetener into a practical and easy to use cane sugar alternative heralds an exciting moment for the food and beverage industry. With an extremely low Glycemic Index, an extremely high nutrient content and an affordable price for manufacturers and consumers alike, palm sugar is poised to become a leading sustainable sweetener. Coconut Palm Sugar is the only low Glycemic sweetener on the market today, which truly delivers on all aspects of health, transparent equity, traceability and environmental sustainability,” Coconut sugar can be used in cooking, and as the author of the website: points out it, “tastes much lighter than unrefined cane sugar, maple syrup, and honey, while avoiding tasting like straight sweetness. It almost tastes like it has just a tad of maple syrup in it. It’s not quite as sweet as cane sugar.” People Magazine recommends that you eat coconut sugar blended with cinnamon or vanilla or sprinkled on top of fruit. The authors of had this to say about coconut sugar: “The flavors marry well with spices, which will be quite perfect for your autumn baking needs. Coconut sugar can be substituted one for one in baking. Use it where you would use brown sugar, Sucanat, or white sugar. I used it in my apple crisp recipe with absolutely delicious results! I have used it before in cookies and muffins and it works great. I have also used it to proof yeast with great results as well. Those with cane sugar allergies will find this sugar suitable for their needs.” Those interested in learning more about this amazing new (but historically used in Asia) sugar, should visit the sites quoted in this article, or simply Google coconut sugar.

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Elton Hinton FFA Chapter


Elton Hinton FFA Chapter Wins its First State Title Aly Joyner and Alexa Schelb of the Elton Hinton FFA Chapter of Strawberry Crest High School were awarded a trophy for winning first place in the state ornamental horticulture demonstration contest at the Florida FFA Convention on June 15, 2011. The Elton Hinton FFA Chapter was just established and chartered this year and is only for ninth graders. That did not stop Aly and Alexa from bringing home the gold and the state title for OH Demonstration in the Marketing Division. The two friends prepared and presented a demonstration on marketing strawberry cookies. Since they are both proud students


of Strawberry Crest High School, promoting Hillsborough County strawberries seemed like the logical choice when developing and preparing their demonstration. Before going to the state contest, Aly and Alexa had to either place first or second in the area contest. Luckily, they also won that contest and headed to the state finals which were held in Gainesville. Even though Aly Joyner and Alexa Schelb will no longer be members of the Elton Hinton FFA Chapter as they move up the Strawberry Crest FFA Chapter, the Elton Hinton FFA Chapter plans on bringing home many more state titles in the years to come.

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Elton Hinton FFA Chapter Places 2nd in the State Agriculture Issues CDE

Standing: Susan Mayo (advisor), Kasey Wells, Levi Mayo, TJ McNamee, Haley Smith; Seated: Brooke Samuels, Aly Joyner, and Alexa Schelb


The Elton Hinton Strawberry Crest FFA chapter placed second in the Agriculture Issues career development event on June 15, 2011 at the 83rd Annual Florida State FFA Convention in Orlando. The Elton Hinton FFA team consisted of Levi Mayo, Aly Joyner, Alexa Schelb, TJ (Amor) McNamee, Kasey Wells, Haley Smith, and Brooke Samuels. The Elton Hinton FFA is composed of only ninth graders. The Agriculture Issue CDE is a contest where FFA members pick an issue that effects their community and possible themselves. The team must research the topic and then argue both the pros and cons of the is-

July 2011


sue. The Elton Hinton FFA’s issue was the Healthy Schools for Healthy Lives Act. This is an act endorsed by Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, to take the school lunch program away from the Department of Education and put it in the Department of Agriculture. The act also said to put more locally fresh fruits and vegetables into the lunch program and students diets which will hopefully lower the obesity rate in Florida. The team members portrayed Adam Putnam, two Florida DOE cabinet members, a student, an upset parent, a cafeteria worker, and a moderator.

July 2011


Strawberry Crest High School


Kelsey Bozeman Wins the National FFA Gold Award Kelsey Bozeman of Strawberry Crest FFA Chapter was awarded a gold medal for the National FFA Risk Management Essay Contest in May. Kelsey Bozeman was one of 141 participants in the National Risk Management Essay Contest. She was selected as one of the top 30 essays received and was awarded a gold medal. The National FFA Risk Management Contest is offered by the National FFA in a partnership with the Risk Management Agency of United States Department of Agriculture and the National FFA Foundation. With the phase out and eventual elimination of federal farm price and income supports, it is critical that today’s students and

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farm operators become aware of the new risk environment in production agriculture and develop an understanding of how to manage risk. This essay contest is offered to stimulate today’s agriculture students interest in, knowledge of and successful selection and use of risk management tools. In addition, the contest provides a way to recognize students who have developed their communication skills and can effectively share key information regarding implementing risk management tools. Kelsey Bozeman is a great representative of the Strawberry Crest FFA Chapter and the chapter and school are proud of all her accomplishments.


Strawberry Crest FFA Wins the State Agriculture Issues CDE Again by Levi Mayo

Standing: Jake Maxwell, Kade Greene, Kyle Lee, and Garrett Vida; Seated: Charlotte Thibault, Abby Jett, and Jordan Pugh

The Strawberry Crest FFA chapter is the state FFA champion for the Agriculture Issues career development event, held on June 15, 2011 at the 83rd Annual Florida State FFA Convention in Orlando. The Strawberry Crest FFA Chapter will be heading to the National FFA Convention in October to compete for national recognition. The team consisted of Garrett Vida, Kyle Lee, Abby Jett, Jordan Pugh, Charlotte Thibault, Jake Maxwell and Kade Greene. The Agriculture Issue CDE is a contest where FFA members pick an issue that affects their community and possibly themselves. The team must research the topic and then argue both the pros and cons of the issue. The SCHS

FFA’s issue was the Numeric Nutrient Criteria. The NNC issue can affect every citizen in the Hillsborough County and the state of Florida financially if it is not stopped. In the June issue of In the Field, an article was published on problems with Numeric Nutrients Criteria. The team members acted out the issue as reported on industries or organization’s website or testimony given to the Environmental Protection Agency including the Florida Cattlemen, Florida Citrus Mutual, CF Industries, Florida Water Coalition, and the EPA. The team gave the presentation to many local organizations including the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Farm Credit, Plant City Rotary Club, and Hillsborough County Farm Bureau.

Strawberry Crest FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team Seven members of the Strawberry Crest FFA Chapter proudly represented their hometown at the Annual Florida FFA State Convention, when they participated in the Parliamentary Procedure contest. In the contests, students are required to take a written test, give a demonstration, which displays their Parliamentary knowledge, and answer a series of questions regarding their demonstration. The members included, Jamee Townsend, Kelsey Bozeman, Alli Thomas, Ashton Houston, Kristin Bozek, Alex Hughes, and Ashley Modrow. The team received third in the state and look forward to competing again next year! The team would like to give a special thanks to their coaches, Susan Mayo and Wesley Joyner, as well as the Plant City Lions club who donated money towards the team’s travels.


July 2011

600 SOUTH COLLINS ST. • PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813-759-8473 MON-FRI: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


July 2011


Tex t t h e w o rd “din n 72239 etor ” to to w in a fernte r ste a k din n e e e r.

Barbados Cherry

RCA Awards Best Steak



By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science

Cherries are on sale right now at the grocery stores, a good sign that the fruit is at its peak harvest and fullest flavor. One type of Florida cherry that is exceptionally high in nutrients is the Barbados cherry, also called acerola, Antilles, or West Indian cherry. The Barbados cherry received much attention in the 1950s for its exceptionally high vitamin C content. The largest producers of Barbados cherry are Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The fruiting season for Florida cherries is generally from April to November. The fruit is soft, juicy, and thin-skinned with a light to deep crimson skin when mature and a yelloworange flesh. The flavor ranges from tart to lightly sweet. The more acidic fruits have the highest vitamin C content.

Nutritional Profile The Barbados cherry is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, and is bursting with other vitamins and minerals as well. Cherries are a great source of vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3, carotenoids, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and folate. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup of whole, raw Barbados cherries (98 g) contains 31 calories, 0.39 g of protein, 0.29 g of fat, 7.54 g of carbohydrate, and 1.1 g of fiber. It also provides 76% of the Daily Recommended Value (% DV) for Vitamin C, 25% for Vitamin A, and 7% for potassium.

Vitamin C: For a strong immune system Barbados cherries contain the most concentrated amount of vitamin C of any fruit. They provide an astounding 2740 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in a one cup serving! Vitamin C has many important functions in the body. It plays a vital role in forming collagen, skin, blood vessels and muscles. Additionally, it helps heal wounds and keeps bones and teeth healthy. The National Institutes of Health recommends regularly consuming foods high in vitamin C content, since it is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body. You can meet your entire daily needs for vitamin C in just a couple of cherries!


July 2011

Antioxidant Properties Barbados cherries are full of health-promoting antioxidants, powerful compounds that help fight free-radical damage. Free radicals damage healthy cells, which leads to problems such as inflammation and heart disease. Both vitamin C and vitamin A are well-known antioxidant vitamins, both of which are abundant in Barbados cherries. Additionally, these fruit contain compounds called anthocyanins, which also have antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins may help lower the risk of heart disease, enhance memory function, protect developing fetal brain tissue, and have anti-inflammatory effects.

Potassium: For blood pressure control Barbados cherries are high in potassium, a mineral that promotes healthy heart functioning and protects against high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses. This mineral is also critical in maintaining cell membranes, and balances with other minerals in the blood to regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Most vegetables and fruits, such as cherries, are a rich source of potassium.

How to Select and Store Choose cherries that have deep red-colored skin, and feel firm with a slight give when squeezed. Consume them as soon as possible or refrigerate ripe cherries for up to three days.

How to enjoy Barbados cherries are delicious eaten out-of-hand or squeezed into juice. They can also be stewed, or made into juice, puree, or fruit sorbet. The puree can be a delicious topping on cake, pie, ice cream or a fruit or vegetable salad. Since Barbados cherries are so high in vitamin C, mixing other fruit with their juice will prevent darkening of sliced bananas or apples. Cherries may also be made into syrup, jelly, jam, and other preserves. Enjoy this beautiful, nutritious fruit during Florida’s peak season today. Eat it out of hand or combine with other fruits for a healthy treat.

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July 2011



et u q n a on B

pprec A s r e ow ual Gr


4th An

Wishnatzki Farms (Wish Farms) hosted its 4th An preciation Banquet on Fri nual Grower Apday, June 24, 2011 at the Red Rose Ballroom in Plant City. The event is held every year at the end of the Florida growing season. The firs t appreciation banquet sta rted four years ago as a way of thanking all of the growers that work with Wish Farms throughout the year. The evening was full of fun and surprises. With over 185 attendees, including both growers and Wish Farms ’ employees, it was a packed house where gu ests were served a full-c ourse dinner while enjoying music and danci ng. “It is very important to recognize the hard work our growers and employees put forth all year long. The evening is to show my appreciation and wrap up anoth er successful season,” sai d Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms. Mr. Wishnatzki welcome d the guests at the beginn After introducing eight ing of evening. new Wish Farms’ emplo yees, he highlighted the past year and shared a few insights for the coming season. With the launch of its new Wish Farms brand in 201 consumer focused marke 0, many ting efforts will be introd uced in the coming months to coincide with the company’s expansio n efforts. Wish Farms, the largest strawberry shipper and grower in Florida, has added blueberries to its year round product off ering. With the purchase of 600 acres in Pine Island, FL, it is foc used on building a year round vegetable program. The highlight of the eve ning was the recognition of Lonnie “Buckaroo” Gonzalez, a 50-year employee of Wi sh Farms. Working for the Wishnatzki family is the only job he has ever known. Lonnie was presented a plaque in app reciation of his 50 years of loyal service. Closing the evening was the onstage raffle drawi ng led by the always entertaining Chuck Hollenkamp, Executive VP of Fresh Sales, and a 26 year veteran of Wish Farms. Over a do zen prizes were awarded ranging from fish ing poles and grills to fla t screen TV’s and iPads. With a great select ion of over a dozen prizes , it is just one more reason why Wish Farms ’ growers look forward to attending the event each year.

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July 2011

July 2011


Lennard High School



Lennard FFA Members Attend Florida FFA State Convention Eleven members from the Lennard FFA Chapter attended the Florida FFA State Convention in Orlando held June 13 - 18. Rebecca Knowles placed third overall in the State FFA Creed Speaking contest. Lucas Worley placed second overall in the State Extemporaneous Speaking Contest. Madison Brown, Kyle Bowman, Rey Penaloza, Amber Wiggins and Lucas Worley were selected to serve as Courtesy Corps members, which work behind the scenes to ensure State Convention runs smoothly. Ashley Leonard and Randall Casey won their Supervised Agricultural Experience Project Proficiency categories. Ashley won the Diversified Horticulture category for her work in the Vegetable, Floriculture and Ornamental industries. Randall won the Nursery Operations category for his work in the school’s agriculture land laboratory nursery. Ashley and Randall’s proficiency applications will be forwarded to the National level for judging. Ashley Leonard and Raven Voss were recognized on stage as American Degree candidates. The American Degree is the highest honor a FFA member can receive. Less than one percent of all FFA members reach this level of accomplishment. Ashley and Raven will receive their American Degree during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis during

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July 2011

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In The Field Magazine - July 2011


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by Dry Creek America’s First Frontier creator Les Mc Dowell photos by L A Constant Photography Well here we are in the heat of another Florida Summer and gearing up to start production on season two of Dry Creek, America’s First Frontier. A lot has happened since we left the National Television airwaves. We had a major set rebuild and have made the town of Dry Creek twice as big. We added a two story restaurant and hotel along with a full size General Store. But the changes I’m proudest of are the number of homes across America we will be in. How did we do that? By signing with two major Networks. Dry Creek will be on Pursuit Network that covers both Direct TV, channel 608 and Dish, channel 240. Watch for it Saturday nights at 7:30 ET with a replay Wednesday at 8:30am ET. Dry Creek also signed with Blue Highways TV. Stan Hitchcock who founded CMT started Blue Highways and we are


July 2011

proud to be a member of their family. Starting Aug 13 at 7:30 pm ET, then replay Saturday at 10:30 pm ET, Sunday at 2:30 pm ET and Monday at 12:30p.m. Dry Creek will be on National TV six times per week in 51 million households. The Lord has really blessed Dry Creek and the cast and crew are chomping at the bite to begin filming the 2nd season at the end of July. Thanks to everyone who has supported Dry Creek and the family programming that it stands for. It’s been a grass roots effort of great folks that believe in what Dry Creek stands for. Visit to learn more. Thanks to our new networks and an audience of 51 million people across America will know where Dry Creek’s inside each and every one of us.

July 2011


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C L A S S I F I E D S BLUE BERRY PLANTS 25 gallon producing plants, quantity discounts $18 each, extra containers available can deliver. 813-967-5327 For Sale or Lease 2.66 acre nursery N. Lakeland with 1,000 sq. ft. frame house, 2 sheds, irrigation throughout. Call Bruce 863-698-0019.

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HORSE BOARDING Stalls and individual turnout, lighted arena and round pen. Owners on property. $300 full care. Call 813-610-4416



HAY FOR SALE Compressed Alfalfa blocks & round bales of Coastal. Call 863-984-2560 Dixie Chopper X2002 Quad Loop zero turn mower. 50” cut, good working condition. $3500.00. Bolens G154 diesel tractor. 16hp, 4x4, 3pt lift, pto. Runs good. $2495.00. Call Alvie 813-759-8722 S

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RUBBER MULCH All colors, buy 10 bags, get one FREE! $8.99 a bag. Call Ted 813-752-3378 DECKING BRDS. & T1LL SIDING Call Ted 813-752-3378 MASSEY FERGUSON 255 Grove Tractor with 6’ mower $7,500 Call Alvie 813-759-8722

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Dyna Glide Streetbob with only 368 miles. Excellent condition, garaged kept, covered. Extras added and ready to ride! $10,000. Serious Inquiries Only. Call 813-659-3402

NEW DOORS Closeout special!!!!! $75.00 to $295.00 Call Ted today. 813-752-3378 2001 MASSEY FERGUSON 1205 5’ finish mower, 306 hours, 16hp, 4X4, diesel. $4,500. Call Alvie 813-759-8722 2003 MASSEY FERGUSON 4355 2wd, 85 pto hp, shuttle shift. $11,500. Call Alvie 813-759-8722 BLAISVILLE GEORGIA MLS#191458 Prepare to love this well kept 2 bdrm. cabin with a Seasonal mtn. view. This enticing 1-1/2 story provides gas Fireplace. Loft, wood flooring, main-level laundry. Central air, Ceiling fans. Nottley River privileges, covered porch, simple, no-fuss landscape. Fishing. Call Jane Baer w/ Jane Baer Realty. 1-800-820-7829 MASSEY FERGUSON 2300L 4X4 w/ loader, 277 hours, 22.5 hp. $7,000. Call Robby 863-537-1345

Leesburg Lake Front Home 7 ac (mol), Lake Front w/beautiful sunset, 3/3/2 home w/det workshop/ barn covered equip port, plus cabin. Dock, good fishing, skiing, boating. Small citrus grove w/variety of fruit. $595,000. Call Coldwell Banker Gamiotea Realty at 863-494-3600 or 888-494-4880. Animal & Bird Cages Equipment serving the fur-bearing & exotic bird industry. Cages built to order. Wire by roll or foot. 813-752-2230 Swap July 17 & Nov 27, 2011 T/A Large Bales We have large bales T/A from Michigan for $11.00. Call 813-737-5263. Ask about delivery. Compressed Alfalfa Blocks 700+lbs $110.00 & 1300+lbs bales $210.00. Call 813-737-5263. Ask about delivery. Hay for sale Compressed Alfalfa Blocks & Round Bales of Coastal. Call (863) 984-2560

•••FOR SALE••• Fertilized Bahia Hay. 4X5 rolls $25 ea. 800 rolls available. Call for pick up 863-287-3091 or 863-294-1650 NEW HOLLAND TC29 tractor / loader 29 pto hp, 268hrs. $13,000 (UT6406) Ask for David 813-623-3673 Contributing writer Write about events in your community. Immediate openings in Hillsborough and Polk Counties. Paid per article. Responsibilities include covering community events and taking pictures. Email your resume to ACCOUNT manager Sales, account management. Immediate openings in Hillsborough and Polk Counties. Email your resume to NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS MLS# 209797 Beautiful Country setting updated 2008-2009, whirlpool tub, Lots of wide usable porches, views of pasture & mountains, open Floor plan, master bedroom with huge master bath. Lots of windows and doors. Call Jane Baer w/ Jane Baer Realty.1-800-820-7829 KUBOTA B5200 TRACTOR 2wd, 13hp diesel. $1,950. Call Alvie 813-759-8722 BAD BOY AOS Zero turn, 60”cut, 35hp, Cat diesel engine, 215 hrs. $6,950. Call Alvie 813-759-8722.


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July 2011


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Profile for Berry Publications, Inc

In The Field Magazine - Hillsborough July 2011  

Hillsborough County's issue of In The Field Magazine for July 2011

In The Field Magazine - Hillsborough July 2011  

Hillsborough County's issue of In The Field Magazine for July 2011